Glenallachie 21yo Cask Strength Batch 1

Glenallachie 21 Header article

In a year which has seen Glenallachie add a second batch of limited edition Wood Finishes, a Virgin Oak Series, batch 4 of its cask strength 10yo single malt, and a third instalment of UK exclusive single cask bottlings to its portfolio, the brand has rounded off 2020 with perhaps its most highly anticipated whisky of all; a 21 year old. This cask strength expression will be released annually in small batches, with the first batch consisting of just five Pedro Ximénez puncheons & hogsheads which were filled in 1997 and 1998.

Glenallachie Master Blender Billy Walker said: “There are some whiskies which are simply a pleasure to create; our 15 year old which we launched in 2019 was one, and this new 21 year old is undoubtedly another. Sherry casks of this vintage are scarce, so I have been carefully monitoring each since we bought the distillery in anticipation of releasing a very special and beautifully aged expression at its peak. These casks have now achieved the perfect balance of sherried depth and complexity, which we have bottled at natural cask strength to showcase the full experience that these casks deliver.”

Sherry bomb? Let’s see.

Glenallachie 21yo Cask Strength Batch 1
5 Pedro Ximénez puncheons & hogsheads
1,600 bottles
51.4% ABV
£199 RRP

Nose: Wow, it jumps right out the glass with sticky dates, stewed plums, espresso, star anise, cacao nibs, clove, star anise, and toasted currants. Lighter notes of acacia honey, thick cut marmalade and toasted almonds also peek through.

Palate: A really juicy start, with sultanas, rum soaked raisins, some molasses, Muscovado sugar, and grilled banana with Nutella (!). Then spiced chutney, cinnamon swirls, hazelnut praline, chocolate truffles and a touch of coffee grounds with drying oak.

Finish: Stays sweet with liquorice, dark cherries, cinnamon, and some dark chocolate.

Overall: As much as one could park this whisky very much in the sherry bomb pigeon hole, there’s a lot more going on than simply those big, spicy, rich notes we associate with oloroso and/or PX casks. The nose is layered with lighter aromas of citrus, sweet spice and floral tones, and the palate stays juicy with just a hint of drying oakiness towards the end. The tannins have been kept in check very well, making this whisky an absolute delight to taste. Best of luck getting your hands on a bottle though, with just 1,600 available worldwide you’ll need to be quick.




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