Popular Speyside distillery GlenAllachie is extending its collection of whiskies with the launch of its first-ever range of limited edition wood finishes.

The new selection of Wood Finish expressions will comprise of the the 8 year old Koval Rye Quarter Cask Wood Finish; the 10 year old Port Wood Finish; and the 12 year old Pedro Ximenez Sherry Wood Finish.

Designed to highlight the wood management expertise of master distiller, Billy Walker, who acquired the distillery in 2017 alongside The GlenAllachie Distillers Company.

To create the new range of wood finishes, Walker first hand-selected barrels from among the 50,000 casks in the 16 warehouses on site at the distillery near Aberlour for the additional maturation period.

The additional finishing casks were then sourced from a variety of bodegas and distilleries that shared Walker’s culture of careful wood management and with whom he had established keen relationships with throughout his long career in the whisky industry.

The 8 year old Koval Rye Quarter Cask Wood Finish (RRP: £54.99) was first matured in American oak wood barrels and then underwent an additional maturation period in organic Rye quarter casks sourced from Chicago’s Koval Distillery.

The distillery team say that the greater liquid-to-wood ratio in the smaller casks means that the rich spicy flavour of the Rye is released more rapidly.

With its distinctive ruby red colour, the 10 year old Port Wood Finish (RRP:£54.99) was first matured in American oak barrels before being re-racked into vintage Ruby Port wood pipes sourced in North Portugal.

The GlenAllachie team say the Port wood influence adds flavour, depth and complexity to the whisky, revealing sweet notes of heather honey, butterscotch and treacle.

The 12 year old Pedro Ximenez Sherry Wood Finish (RRP £58.99) is described as a rich whisky with “great depth”. This whisky was matured for over ten years in American oak wood barrels before its additional maturation in Pedro Ximenez puncheons, creating a “sweeter, fruitier whisky”.

Commenting on the new range, Walker said: “I’m incredibly excited to unveil this new range featuring GlenAllachie’s first-ever range of wood finishes.

“Wood management is something I’m very passionate about and we invest a substantial amount of time and money into sourcing exceptional casks from all around the world.

“I look for casks that will complement and enhance the GlenAllachie spirit, with the different woods making a greater, or sometimes subtle, influence, and taking us on a
journey of new flavours.

“The rich golden Rye Quarter Cask delivers a hit of spice and cloves with classic GlenAllachie characteristics of honey and butterscotch, whereas the ruby red Port Pipe has a sweeter and fruitier flavour, with honey, damson and rose hips. Finally the Pedro Ximenez, deep rich mahogany in colour, delivers what the eye promises; raisins, sultanas, toffee and dark chocolate.

“With this first release you can see the impact that a quality and carefully chosen cask can have on our whisky, from the amazing array of colours to the intensity of flavours in the final whisky.’’

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The Distillery Tasting Notes:

8yo Koval Rye Wood Finish

Colour: Rich Gold.

Nose: Full on rich spices, cinnamon and nutmeg with waves of honey and butterscotch.

Taste: Intense sweet spices enriched with honey, butterscotch, cooking apples and cloves.

10yo Port Wood Finish

Colour: Red ruby.

Nose: Waves of heather honey and sweet spice, laced with rose hip and dark chocolate.

Taste: A flood of heather honey, butterscotch and treacle, with damson, rose hip and dark chocolate.

12yo Pedro Ximenez Wood Finish

Colour: Rich Mahogany.

Nose: A storm of raisins, sultanas, dark chocolate, bananas and orange peel.

Taste: Brimming with fruit cake, dark chocolate, toffee, bananas, orange peel and sweet spices.

About The Author

Sean Murphy

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.

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