New Whiskies

Batch 166

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GlenAllachie 10-year-old, 12-year-old, 18-year-old and 25-year-old, with Benrinnes 8-year-old and Glen Moray 10-year-old from Asta Morris

The new range from GlenAllachie distillery is bookended this week by a couple of Speysiders from Belgian bottler Asta Morris, as Dave Broom gets to grips with another selection of new whiskies to review.

The line-up gets off to a strong start, with an impressive eight-year-old Benrinnes from Asta Morris which despite its youthful age, shows ‘remarkable’ maturity and is ‘rich and dementedly unconventional’.

The first of GlenAllachie’s new range on the other hand is a cask strength 10-year-old, which although displays some lighter fruity notes, at 57.1% abv packs a punch with plenty of nose burn and spice.

The 12-year-old expression is more delicate still, with bready, malty and floral qualities – a ‘light and easy’ dram, surmises Broom.

Things pick up with GlenAllachie 18-year-old, which demonstrates more substance in caramel toffee and chocolate notes with some of that signature distillery citrus fruit. It’s still light, but hangs around a bit longer, says Broom.

The peak of the range – in age and score – is GlenAllachie 25-year-old, a fruity number with elements of waxy tropical fruits that offers a ‘fine conclusion’ to the new range.

Last but not least, Broom comes back to Asta Morris for a final fling with a 10-year-old Glen Moray, which with its zesty, lemony sweetness would make a ‘lovely aperitif’.

This week’s playlist comes courtesy of The Flaming Lips and Joni Mitchell by way of some disco funk and Ivor Cutler’s surreal musings on lemon juice. As always, use the links provided in Right Place, Right Time.

Scoring Explained

Overview

  • Benrinnes 8 Years Old (Asta Morris)

    Benrinnes 8 Years Old (Asta Morris)
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    53%
    Production type
    Single malt whisky
    Region
    Speyside
    Flavour camp
    Rich & Round
    Nose

    Though a mere eight years of age, already this shows remarkable maturity, with an aroma that brings to mind the funkiest of funky pot still rums cut with lime juice, and a backnote of shards of heavily barbecued flesh. There’s some added lift from a scented wood note that’s akin to Trumper sandalwood shaving soap, before sweetness comes through in the form of cherry jam. Water brings out a smoky molasses element.

    Palate

    Chewy and mouth-filling, with toasted, integrated wood adding complexity. It’s actually sweeter than the nose suggests, with the meaty underpinnings now akin to mutton pie with a hawthorn jelly bittersweet element on the side. The mid-palate is ripe and rich and slightly oily, with a light nutty edge, some old dried citrus peels and dandelion and burdock. The meatiness, if reduced with water, leaves this twisted take on fresh and dried fruit.

    Finish

    Peanut butter and singed black fruits.

    Conclusion

    Rich and dementedly unconventional, which only endears it to me more.

    Right place, right time

    He may have been in Speyside but he was Funkin’ for Jamaica.

    GlenAllachie 10 Years Old, Cask Strength Batch 1

    GlenAllachie 10 Years Old, Cask Strength Batch 1
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    57.1%
    Production type
    Single malt whisky
    Region
    Speyside
    Flavour camp
    Fragrant & Floral
    Nose

    Light in colour, with some nose burn and a light background. Though hard to get into because of the high strength, there’s some graphite elements, green fruits, and a light lactic element. Water helps to loosen things up, adding in delicate verbena notes, aspirin and then, as it develops, trifle-like elements: cream, boozy sponge and berry fruits still contained within a green casing.

    Palate

    There’s more substance than the aroma suggests. OK, there’s still this slightly sappy, youthful quality to start with, but for all its compactness, the mid-palate does show some sweet fruit-led weight before it fizzles out. Water brings out more grassiness, then sweet pear, cream and lemon.

    Finish

    Spicy, with some aromatic blue fruit and ripe banana. Hot. 

    Conclusion

     A feisty number with some hidden soft qualities.

    Right place, right time

    Burn baby, burn in this Disco Inferno.

    GlenAllachie 12 Years Old

    GlenAllachie 12 Years Old
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    46%
    Production type
    Single malt whisky
    Region
    Speyside
    Flavour camp
    Fragrant & Floral
    Nose

    A fresh mix of slightly chalky, malty elements backed with rosewater, a hint of fresh clove and Edinburgh rock. There’s some heat, but the white bread elements carry through alongside bruised peach. Water shows a slight flimsiness, so tread carefully.

    Palate

    Light, soft and direct, this starts with a pleasing burst of freesia-like florals backed with a dry nutty character and green fruits. Things continue to shift between these elements resulting in a slight tension that’s given some relief when water is added as the flavours are now spread across the palate, though there’s little depth. It loses impact towards the back.

    Finish

    Hot, slightly drying.

    Conclusion

    Light and easy, and front-and-centre, which might be no bad thing commercially.

    Right place, right time

    Straight down the Middle of the Road.

    GlenAllachie 18 Years Old

    GlenAllachie 18 Years Old
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    46%
    Production type
    Single malt whisky
    Region
    Speyside
    Flavour camp
    Fruity & Spicy
    Nose

    There’s some substance here, with a mix of light caramel toffee, milk chocolate, damp wool, and a dessert trolley (there’s that trifle element again, but also bread and butter pudding). In time you can pick out some jellied fruits and light quince. Subtle, but with good weight. Water brings out milky elements, but also signs of cedar-accented maturity and greater mid-palate weight, plus some cooked pear.

    Palate

    Tongue-clinging, creamy, and medium bodied. It starts with powdery fruits then floral-scented face cream, lemon leaf and scented blue fruit with rounded, mature, wooden notes. The light tannins add a balancing dry element. Water again softens things into yellow fruit, while that bruised peach note seen on the 12-year-old returns, along with a creamy back palate.

    Finish

    Light sultana and cooked fruits.

    Conclusion

    Though things are still on the lighter side, this has more length.

    Right place, right time

    The trifle debate raged. ‘My mother, She Don’t Use Jelly!’ he cried.

    GlenAllachie 25 Years Old

    GlenAllachie 25 Years Old
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    48%
    Production type
    Single malt whisky
    Region
    Speyside
    Flavour camp
    Fruity & Spicy
    Nose

    Rounded and soft with more overt mealy elements (warm oat milk) and clear mature touches such as aromatic cigar box, lilac and sweet hay come into the foreground, and while the presence of yellow fruits shows a clear line back to the 18-year-old, there’s now some tropical fruit elements in the background. Water pulls out more nuttiness – roast hazelnut especially – then old apple skin.

    Palate

    Rounded and slightly oily with a palate-coating quality. The fruits now ease and ooze over the tongue, starting soft, then picking up a juicy, almost waxy richness by the time they start to cluster in the middle of the palate. There’s great balance here, and while water brings out more mature depths, things remain on the more subtle side.

    Finish

    Relaxed, fruity, and elegant.

    Conclusion

    A fine conclusion to a rewarding new range.

    Right place, right time

    Lilac sprays fill the room as they wait For The Roses to bloom.

    Glen Moray 10 Years Old (Asta Morris)

    Glen Moray 10 Years Old (Asta Morris)
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    50%
    Production type
    Single malt whisky
    Region
    Speyside
    Flavour camp
    Fragrant & Floral
    Nose

    Very sweet and flowery: buddleia and privet blossom, with some Victoria sponge, tart white currants and a hint of chalkiness. Everything seems very fresh, light, and upfront. In time an almond/ marzipan/ anise note develops alongside preserved lemon. All of this is amplified with water, with extra lemon zest and Bakewell tart.

    Palate

    An instant impact that’s all citrus zest and zippy acidity, but behind there’s sweeter creamy elements, with some drops of orange blossom water, that start off as flumpy marshmallows whose slightly powdery coating gives a dusty element to the mid-palate, adding balance to the spikiness of higher alcohol (and relative youth). Water slows the momentum and adds a new, gentle side.

    Finish

    Strawberries and cream, orange, then the marzipan returns.

    Conclusion

    As sweet as you like. A lovely aperitif. Welcome Asta Morris, you can visit any time.

    Right place, right time

    Oh you Lemon Flower, the fruit is sweet but the juice is sour… let Ivor Cutler take you away.

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