Billy Walker is a damned genius, as you certainly already know. He’s the man who gave a second life to BenRiach and GlenDronach; he proved great competence and expertise and he’s the best in casks’ management: he could make a masterpiece from a poor stock only changing the casks. Nevertheless, he has an awful problem: he uses capital letters random inside his distilleries’ names. Anyway, after he sold the BenRiach group to Brown Forman, Billy thought a rich retirement was not for him. So he bought the Glenallachie distillery from Pernod (hey, Pernod, you never understand from your past errors, don’t you?), changing its name in GlenAllachie and choosing a vaguely prehistoric font, probably created by Flintstones. Today we taste the first batch of the 10 yo cask strength. We do it with great curiosity and with three friends, Corbetta, De Rosa and Zucchetti.
N: the alcohol is rather volatile and the taster’s nose suffers from it. It’s not very expressive, it shows a citrusy side (tangerine) and an apple pie’s memory. Someone says “apple crumble”, to be precise. The virgin oak percentage provides an oaky scent, as you were at Ikea. With water, a hint of spices and a load of vanilla come in. Icing sugar, too.
P: first impact is alcoholic, here too. It’s aggressive, but full and rich. The fruity side is sweet, with a touch of acidic and fermented: tropical mixed fruits and persimmon. White chocolate and raw chestnuts: it sets our teeth on edge. The dilution makes everything easier, but the fruity soul tends to a simple sugary sensation (white grapes), turning to woody and astringent.
F: long, persimmon, honey and caramel. Vanilla pudding.
Without any dilution, it seems too aggressive, especially on the palate. The water changes the nose, making it more comfortable, but it loses complexity. Overall it’s a good whisky, maybe a little bit simple but definetely not ordinary and people pleasey. And we want to reward this approach: it’s a wonderful bottle to have in your cabinet: 83/100.
Recommended soundtrack: Özgür Baba – Dertli Dolap. This is pure avantgarde.