Built in 1967 by Mackinlay McPhearson & Co in the Speyside area of Scotland’s whisky production the distillery is today back into private ownership headed by Billy Walker after acquiring the distillery from Chivas Brothers ( Pernod Ricard) in the middle of 2018..
Located at the foot of Ben Rinnes and taking water from the Lour and streams running from Ben Rinnes, the distillery has a capacity of 4 million litres of alcohol per year although the distillery is producing far less at this moment in time..
With the launch of a new core range including a 10 yo cask strength, 12, 18 yo both bottled at 46% and a 25 yo bottled at 48% abv the four expressions all come naturally coloured and without Chill Filtration..
Each expression has a different cask makeup with Bourbon, Virgin Oak, Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez cask all being used..
First on the night is the 10 yo cask strength, bottled at 57.1%, and is made up of ex Bourbon casks, Virgin Oak, Oloroso and PX casks..
Nose.. This Starts off sweet with heather honey, toffee apples, fresh apple peel, caramel, soft spices in the form of cinnamon and ginger with a little marzipan and candied orange..
Palate.. This packs a punch.. Quite spicy with pepper, ginger and some oak appearing, eventually that honey brings in the sweetness along with citrus peels, caramel shortbread and summer berries.
Finish.. Spicy, bitter but short..
Second on the night is the 12 yo, bottled at 46% abv with maturation carried out in PX, Oloroso and Virgin Oak casks..
Nose.. Spicy meets Sweet, A real mix of Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg along with the sweetness of that heather honey, candied orange and almonds.. A touch of ripe banana, and cinder toffee appears in the background.
Palate.. A little bitterness leads the way with spices taking over.. Cinnamon, ginger root mixing with orange peel, chocolate, coffee grinds, vanilla, toffee and honey nut cornflakes..
Third on the night was the 18yo, bottled at 46% and matured in American oak Bourbon casks, Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso sherry casks..
Nose.. Fresh and Floral, That honey is evident again with cherry blossom, damp grass, apple peel, cinder toffee, orange chocolate and a nice mix of spices..
Palate.. Softer and very approachable.. Gentle spices lead into a delicious sweetness with the honey, vanilla, freshly sliced apples, ripe banana and orange marmalade all giving this enhanced flavours and depth.
Last on the night is the 25yo, matured in PX, Oloroso and ex Bourbon casks with an abv of 48%.
Nose.. Dried fruits, toffee, chocolate, coffee, cinnamon and a touch of pepper.. More Manuka honey with an earthy note rather than rich honey.. candied orange with a touch of exotic fruits..
Palate.. Manuka honey drizzled over pineapple fritters with vanilla ice cream, with a little cinnamon sprinkled over the top.. Coffee and chocolate appear along with some liquorice laces.. A touch of cherry, pear and candied orange..
With thanks to Steve Rush from the Whisky Wire and to the Glenallachie for tonight’s tasting and samples..