The GlenAllachie, headed up by award-winning Master Distiller, Billy Walker, revealed this week the inaugural bottlings released within its new Wine Cask Series.
Walker carefully selected premium barriques formerly used to age fine wines across Italy, and Spain to create two expressions to kick off the limited-edition range in the US: an 11-year-old Grattamacco Cask Finish (RRP $110) and a 13-year-old Rioja Cask Finish (RRP $120).
After initial aging in American Oak ex-Bourbon barrels, the whisky was transferred into the expertly chosen wine casks to undergo almost two years of additional maturation under Walker’s close supervision within The GlenAllachie’s on-site warehouses. As well as the terroir of the wine, factors such as the oak species, the cooperage and level of toasting were all considered in the cask selection process. Each of these aspects ultimately influence the characteristics of the resulting whisky.
The US debut instalment of the Wine Cask Series features:
- An 11-year-old expression finished in certified Organic Super Tuscan barriques made of French oak from the Grattamacco winery in the Bolgheri area of Tuscany, Italy.
- A 13-year-old whisky which underwent secondary maturation in medium-toasted Spanish oak casks from Rioja, one of Spain’s premier wine regions.
The GlenAllachie 11-year-old Grattamacco Wine Cask Finish – 48% ABV
- Colour: Rich Ruby Blush.
- Nose: Waves of honey, peaches and apricots, with toffee, almonds and orange peel.
- Taste: Toffee, heather honey, red berries and peaches, fused with apricots, orange peel and nutmeg.
The GlenAllachie 13-year-old Rioja Wine Cask Finish – 48% ABV
- Colour: Golden Blush.
- Nose: Waves of red berries, honey, grape must, orange peel and almonds.
- Taste: Rich heather honey, sultanas, almonds and red berries, with barley sugar, grapefruit, orange peel and a hint of aniseed.
Every whisky in the range is available in very limited quantities, with only around 6,000 bottles per release. The bottlings are presented at 48% ABV, without added colouring or chill filtration.
Reflecting on the new series, Walker comments:
“We are delighted to be launching our Wine Cask Series with some really interesting expressions. Cask-finishing is perhaps the most exciting part of wood management because it allows an extra layer of complexity to be added to the whisky, whilst ensuring that the distillery character is not overpowered by the influence of the Oak.
Selecting and working with these wine barriques was a labour of love, and I’m delighted with the variety we have achieved in these bottlings: the Grattamacco delivers a nutty, stone fruit character, and the Rioja overflows with red berry sophistication.”
The GlenAllachie Wine Cask Series is expected to arrive to the US in June and will be available from specialty retailers, with further expressions in the pipeline to join the range in the coming years.
One of Scotland’s few independently owned and managed distilleries, The GlenAllachie is led by industry veteran, Billy Walker, who boasts an almost 50-year tenure in whisky and is one of the latest members of Whisky Magazine’s Hall of Fame.
With an emphasis on wood policy, The GlenAllachie’s cask budget for 2021 stands at an eye-watering £1m/$1.2m. With 16 on-site warehouses holding over 50,000 casks, we have complete control of the end-to-end maturation process.
The GlenAllachie focusses on quality over quantity, which is why we chose to reduce our production capacity from 4m to 500,000 Litres of Alcohol and increase our fermentation period to 160 hours for an ester rich, fruity spirit.
We believe age and integrity matter, which is why all our whiskies carry an age statement, and are bottled at a minimum of 46% ABV, natural colour and non-chill filtered for maximum flavour experience.
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