Blogpost: Water of Life - GlenAllachie Virgin Oak Series

Posted by T • November 14, 2020

Posted by T • November 14, 2020

Water of Life - GlenAllachie Virgin Oak Series

 

GlenAllachie is an interesting distillery – interesting in that it had been on the radar for the longest time, but for very superficial reasons, i.e. the branding and theme of the design never tempted me to check it out. Low and behold, upon actually sampling the core range, things changed dramatically, and the 15-year-old expression became a favourite.

Copper in colour, what tickled the nostrils is an array of fruity aromas, heavy on the richer end of the spectrum of the berry front, with a backbone of a caramelly tobacco, a malty earthiness and rounded out by sweet chocolatey highlights, which seemingly transition to what materializes on the top of the mouth, where the Sherry cask finish unfolds its true beauty in terms of sweet berry flavours, raisins, walnuts and a medium length, reverberating finish that is counterpointed and grounded by malty coffee, cherry tinged dry highlights.

Summa summarum, GlenAllachie’s 15-Year-Old infuses the DNA of the distillery’s core range with the attributes that the maturation in Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso sherry casks imparts - highly recommend to anyone who loves rich, flavourful Speyside whiskies.

Giving the nature of GlenAllachie’s core range, I was getting mildly excited when their Virgin Oak Series. Limited in nature, the range of comprised of expressions that have been matured in carefully curated and region specific selected casks from  France and Spain, which of course varies as far as flavour notes are concerned, with the fact that all of them have first been matured in American Oak ex-Bourbon barrels being the only common denominator.

The underlying idea behind the approach to the new series was to how far the influence of Virgin Oak from different terroir / climate, varying drying periods and different toasting and charring levels can be taken.

The French Virgin Oak was my first exposure to the series, which I found to be firmly rooted in honey territory - both in terms of flavours and aroma. On the nose, it is complimented by toffee and orangey nutmeg, backed by a finish that ground the experience with tannins and butterscotch.

The Spanish Virgin Oak starts off similarly in terms of a honeyed vantage point, but then ventures further into interestingly spicy dimensions that continue to reverberate throughout.

My favourite of the triumvirate is the Chinquapin Virgin Oak Finish, which again takes off from a honeyed plateau to then sore into orangey butterscotch territory and liquorice as far as aromas are concerned. On the palate, syrupy flavours dominate, complemented by spicy cinnamon and floral notes, before the elongated finish marries all flavour nuances to a fulminant finish.

Specifically, with the Virgin Oak series, GlenAllachie’s master distiller, Billy Walker, showcased what is possible with different derivates of casks and imbued the individual expressions with unique characteristics with resulting flavour intensities ranging from high to low and everything in between.

Hopefully, GlenAllachie will continue on this path and continue to branch out into creating unique flavour profiles.

T • November 14, 2020

More recent blogposts

Beethoven and Wagner vs Nietzsche

Posted by T • July 26, 2021

Beethoven: A life University of California Press   There is no shortage of books dedicated to the life of a composer whose legacy has never ceased to reverberate and impact music at large. Released to commemorate the two hundred fiftieth anniversary of his birth, what sets this biography apart in terms of authority is partly due to the unprecedented access … Read more

Water of Life – Limeburners and Earp Distillery

Posted by T • July 25, 2021

Water of Life – Limeburners and Earp Distillery   Over the last ten years, Australia has firmly established itself on the map of nations that produce quality malt whiskies. Slowly but steadily, rye whiskies created on terra australis have been making a splash on the scene with quite a few distilleries crafting their own incarnations of American style rye whiskey. … Read more

The Formative Years – Rugby and Canterbury

Posted by T • July 24, 2021

The Formative Years – Rugby and Canterbury I’ve covered the mecca that Washington DC proved to be as a hotbed for hardcore and punk as part of this series before, however, missed to shed light onto one of my favourite releases from the 1980s era, i.e. the vitally important split LP of the short-lived bands The Faith and Void.  While … Read more

The Formative Years – Hardcore Classics, pt. 1

Posted by T • July 23, 2021

The Formative Years – Hardcore classics pt. 1   With ZAP magazine playing a pivotal role in promoting and covering everything New York Hardcore related in a pro-active and prominent manner, Europe and specifically Germany have always been prime markets for hardcore emanating from the Big Apple.  The result was that “NYHC” became a veritable label and trademark and almost … Read more

The Formative Years - Ebullition Records

Posted by T • July 22, 2021

The Formative Years - Ebullition Records  The first time I heard about Ebullition Records was when there was talk around the campfire of that a gentleman that was known to me as a Maximum Rock’n’roll / No Answer zine contributor, i.e. Kent McClard, was planning to release a full length of one of my favourite bands from Orange County, California, … Read more

Thus Let Us Drink Beer - Holgate and Six String

Posted by T • July 18, 2021

Thus Let Us Drink Beer - Holgate Brewhouse and Six String Brewing   As we have outlined with our previous coverage of Holgate Brewhouse, over the last twenty years the Victorian brewery has established itself firmly on the forefront of innovative quality producers of ales that honour both the classic styles from the old world and the ever expanding and … Read more

Water of Life – Hellfire / Larrikin Distilleries

Posted by T • July 15, 2021

Water of Life – Hellfire Distillery / Larrikin Distillery   If you have followed this series with a modicum of interest and harbour a weak spot for fantastic, artisanal spirits, Tasmania would be doubtlessly be have made it on your to-visit list quite a while ago. Visiting the southernmost state of Australia twice a year, I never cease to discover … Read more

Water of Life – The Scotch Malt Whisky Society

Posted by T • July 12, 2021

Water of Life – The Scotch Malt Whisky Society   There is certainly no shortage of whisky clubs and subscription services these days and for anyone remotely into discovering new flavour nuances and variations of their favourite bottlings, joining one can prove to be a viable option. The experience those services offer ranges from basic monthly tasting kits that might … Read more

Water of Life – Milton Rum & Mad Monkey Distillery

Posted by T • July 11, 2021

Water of Life – Milton Rum and Mad Monkey Distillery   Rum has a long and at times chequered history reaching back more than six hundred years to the times dominated by Colonialism, where it did not only serve to make pirates drunk but as a means for trade. Fast forward to the present day and the renaissance that the … Read more

The Formative Years - Kill Rock Stars

Posted by T • July 10, 2021

The Formative Years - Kill Rock Stars  It would have been around 1992 that I first came about a new label that seemed to have its focus firmly set on releasing its friends’ records and the underground scene centred around Olympia, Washington. It did not take long for the label, its credo and overall outlook and aesthetic to manifest via … Read more