Glenallachie 16 Years Old 1995 – Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

50% ABV, £60 for 70cl

Score: 85/100

What they say:

A 16 year old Glenallachie from the award-winning Old Malt Cask range from Douglas Laing. This was distilled in May of 1995, aged in a refill hogshead and bottled in December of 2011 at the “preferred” strength of 50%abv. Tasty stuff!

Nose: Spiced, malty and creamy with notes of freshly cut grass and vanilla.

Palate: Barley sugar, almond oil, hints of coconut and spice.

Finish: Malty and spiced.

What I say:

Glenallachie was founded in 1967 by Mackinlay, McPherson & Co., a subsidiary of Scottish and Newcastle Breweries Ltd. at a time when brewers were seeking out spirit production to supply there own chain of Pubs. Glenallachie is just outside the town of Aberlour in Speyside and the Malt Whisky produced here is mostly used for blending, in particular the Clan Campbell blend contains a sizeable percentage of Glenallachie malt. In 2005 an official bottling was released at Cask Strength (56.7%) and finished in Oloroso sherry casks.

This particular expression was bottled as part of the Old Malt Cask range (previously Douglas Laing & Co.) in 2011.  In May 2013 the brothers running Douglas Laing & Co. decided to split the company and its portfolio of independent bottlings such that the Old Malt Cask brand is now owned by Hunter Laing & Co. run by Stewart Laing and his sons Andrew and Scott.

Colour:

Very pale straw gold (2nd or 3rd refill bourbon cask perhaps)

Nose:

New paint smell, sweet floral honey, apple blossom, flowery scented geraniums, vanilla, coconut, orange and peach fruit aromas and a little nutmeg spice

Taste:

Light, vaporous and prickly, almost peaty-like, sugary sweet, floral geraniums, cereal malt, vanilla and coconut

Finish:

Medium length, honey sweetness, light malted barley and slight woody oak

Would I buy it again:

This is a reasonably drinkable expression in the OMC range and probably more revealing of the distillates character than the OB cask strength Oloroso finish (which I would love to try). There is nothing in excess in this expression, perhaps proving its quality as a blending dram. This is also a good example of when not to judge a dram by its colour as there is plenty of aged flavours in here and only a slight indication of the ABV strength (50%) at which it is eminently drinkable without the need for watering down. In conclusion this was well worth trying but I probably wouldn’t invest in a bottle, at least not until I have tried the Sherried OB first.