Origin: Speyside (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing barrel: Ex-sherry PX hogshead
Added coloring: No
Owner: The GlenAllachie Distillers Co Limited
Average price: € 95.00
Official website: theglenallachie.com
Back, after a brief absence, to Billy Walker and the ageing casks he likes to play with in his GlenAllachie.
This time I have in my hands a generous sample of a single cask ex-Sherry Pedro Ximénez (the 4131) filled on 8 October 2004 and bottled in 314 on 5 June 2019.
Walker’s choices are always interesting, and are certainly best expressed on single barrels: the path he’s following is one of the most eclectic and intriguing in the field, and deserves to be followed closely.
Dark amber in the glass.
The Pedro Ximénez barrel is very active on the nose, expressing a strong sherried component that drives the amalgam of aromas such as red fruits (raspberries, sour cherries), liquorice, dark chocolate, balsamic vinegar, toasted almonds, crème brûlée. Intense and rich, almost opulent without being cloying.
The palate is warm and enveloping, silky, with red fruits and dried fruits (toasted almonds and hazelnuts) sunk in liquorice, a hint of paprika, apple strudel, sacher torte, candied orange. In the background, seasoned wood, leather and hints of tobacco hold sway, supporting and balancing the whole, preventing the influence of sherry from eating away at everything.
Long finish of red fruits, licorice, chocolate, citrus marmalade, leather.
PX casks are always a gamble, they can take whisky and distort it or, as in this case, enrich the aromas with their crass influence giving a baroque touch that can repel or delight. Whisky is a sensory experience and, as such, a very personal one: for me, the experiment was successful, but if the sherried aren’t for you, stay away.