Review: Glenallachie 1999 Connoisseurs Choice (Bottled 2013)

Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky

Origin: Glenallachie Distillery

Bottling: Gordon & MacPhail; Connoisseurs Choice

ABV: 46%

Cost: £33.12 from Master of Malt

GM_Connoisseurs_Choice_Glenallachie_1999_46_70cl

What they say:

Gordon & MacPhail, one of the world’s leading single malt whisky specialists, has selected a special series of whiskies to showcase the company’s ‘The Wood Makes the Whisky’ campaign which highlights the importance of this essential element in the whisky maturation process.

For over 120 years Gordon & MacPhail has carefully matched spirit with oak in order to ensure a premium taste which reflects the company’s philosophy. Through ‘The Wood Makes the Whisky, campaign consumers are invited to gain a more in-depth insight into how Gordon & MacPhail’s approach to matching wood to spirit has shaped a number of whiskies in their portfolio.

Using expertise honed over four generations, Gordon & MacPhail believe that wood really does make the whisky, with their skilfully coopered casks delivering a full spectrum of flavour compounds; from sweet vanilla notes found through Bourbon cask maturation to rich toffee, dark chocolate and spice notes derived through maturation in Sherry casks.

The array of flavours derived from oak are abundant across the Gordon & MacPhail portfolio, with each whisky demonstrating a unique flavour profile which reflects the cask type as well as the distillery character.

Gordon & MacPhail has selected a series of whiskies, from various Collections including Connoisseurs Choice, The MacPhail’s Collection and Rare Vintage, which they feel best demonstrate ‘The Wood Makes the Whisky’ philosophy.

A book and website have been created to accompany the campaign which can be used to guide whisky lovers through the series, explaining the flavours of each whisky and how this relates to the wood.

Ewen Macintosh, Chief Operating Officer said “Here at Gordon & MacPhail we have always been focused on the close relationship between oak and spirit, and have learned from vast experience that wood really does make the whisky. We have selected the special series of whiskies to demonstrate this complex relationship.

“Our unrivalled collection is a liquid library showcasing whiskies from numerous Scottish distilleries, age profiles and whisky characteristics. From branch to barrel, we aim to deliver a perfectly matured whisky time and time again.”

For more information on the Wood Makes the Whisky campaign please visit [http://wood.gordonandmacphail.com/].

Colour:

Pale Gold

Body:

Medium

Finish:

Medium

Cask Type:

Refill Bourbon barrel

Style:

Light and delicate Speysider

AROMA without water

Sweet vanilla and ripe pear aromas with defined hints of lemon/orange zest developing. Fresh and floral with a delicate sweet vanilla influence.

TASTE without water

Sweet, with hints of well toasted malt. A burst of peppery warmth develops, with touches of rich milk chocolate and ripe fruits lingering.

AROMA with water

Toasted malt and hints of charred oak develop initially. Hints of sweet vanilla and fruity notes become apparent also.

TASTE with water

Defined toffee fudge influence, mouth watering with a burst of orange zest developing. Some hints of milk chocolate evolve.

What I say:

The 2nd in the latest batch of whiskies selected to highlight Gordon & MacPhail’s The Wood Makes The Whisky Campaign hails from Glenallachie Distillery in Speyside. Distilled in 1999 and bottled 2013 making another ~ 14 Year Old, this has been matured in refill Bourbon barrels by G&M.

Colour:

Light white wine/Soave gold (4/20), thick-medium legs and fine droplets

Nose:

Light & dusty, lemon meringue pie, key lime pie, a nice balanced mix of sweet and citrus, intense dessicated coconut, condensed milk, vanilla and light oak wood.

Taste:

Creamy vanilla, fruity; melon, grape, gooseberry, lemon, pineapple, banana, evaporated/carnation milk, vanilla cream & Victoria sponge cake.

Finish:

Short, sweet, creamy, fruit salad.

Overall:

Very light, a nice mixture of mixed fruit flavours and slightly sweetened vanilla cream, a perfect mixture of gentle Speyside whisky and the vanilla influence from ex-bourbon maturation. It would be easy to see how over-maturing (over-oaked or over-sherried) would have spoiled the light nature of this whisky, however G&M have matured it too perfection here.

Score: 84/100

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