Glenallachie Wood Finishes: Rye, Moscatel & Port

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Glenallachie have released the second batch of their Wood Finishes series, which consists of three expressions – a 9 year old Rye finish, an 11 year old Moscatel finish, and an 11 year old Port finish, all bottled at 48% ABV. The launch of the whiskies was accompanied by an online virtual tasting (which is all the fashion these days) with Master Distiller, Billy Walker on May 7th, as part of their “Isolation Tastin” series. If you missed it, you can still check it out on Glenallachie’s Facebook page here. It’s definitely worth a watch!

Speaking of these releases, Walker said: “From day one, we’ve spent a lot of time exploring the amazing array of casks here in the warehouses and also looking at how our spirit interacts with different types of wood. It’s exciting to see how we can change and enhance the flavour profile of our spirit to create rich and full-bodied whiskies. This second batch of wood finishes represents the culmination of all those experiments, and we’re excited about the range of new flavours we’ve created by giving our malt second maturations in Rye, Moscatel and Ruby Port barrels. It’s a delicate process to make sure the different woods complement the Glenallachie spirit rather than overpower it, but we’re delighted with the results.”

Rye, Moscatel and Port? Sounds like a nice little tasting session I have in store.

Glenallachie 9yo Rye Wood Finish
Kentucky Rye barrel finish
48% ABV
£52.95 here

Nose: Lively orchard fruits up top, with stewed apricot, plum, and nectarine, with toasted almonds and coconut. Some lemon cheesecake and ice cream cone too. Light and fairly clean.

Palate: Lemon bon bons, toffee cheesecake, cherry lips sweets, and banana foams. A touch of white pepper, macadamia nuts, and sawdust too.

Finish: Stays light, with sweet lemons, light honey, and very gentle oak.

Glenallachie 11yo Moscatel Wood Finish
Moscatel barrique finish
48% ABV
£55.95 here

Nose: Orange oils, peaches in cream, lychee, melon and manuka honey. Then some Campino sweets, stewed fruits and meadowsweet. A touch of earthy spices adds balance.

Palate: Rather juicy, with peach, mango, honeysuckle, glace cherries and apricot, with a cranberry dryness. Light spices in the background.

Finish: Moves to vanilla icing, orange oils, and fresh oak.

Glenallachie 11yo Port Wood Finish
Ruby Port pipe finish
48% ABV
£55.95 here

Nose: Starts of quite rich, with espresso, cacao nibs, raspberry parfait, blackberry, and plum jam. Some Turkish Delight, floral honey, and faint perfume too. Very inviting.

Palate: Woody spices hit first, then there’s some liquorice, blackcurrant cordial, hazelnut praline, Morello cherry a touch of dark chocolate, and dusty logs.

Finish: Old potpourri is balanced by dried fruit mix and oak shavings.

Overall: A really solid trio, in all truth. The Rye finish is perhaps a little too light for me, and to be honest, the rye influence is barely noticeable; tasted blind I’d have said this is pure ex-bourbon maturation. It’s still an enjoyable whisky though. The Moscatel finish shows a fruitier side, and the Port finish shows a slightly darker side. Both these whiskies have good balance, with neither of the cask finishes dominating the liquid… and at a little over £50 for a bottle, they’re pretty well priced too.




  1. Hey John,
    great review on the Glenallachies. Thanks for that. Got the Glenallachie 15 in a sample when i ordered the ardbeg black. Can’t wait to taste a dram of that.

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