The GlenAllachie has revealed the inaugural bottlings released within its new Wine Cask Series.
Master Distiller Billy Walker carefully selected premium barriques formerly used to age fine wines across France, Italy, and Spain to create three expressions to kick off the limited edition range: an 11-year-old Grattamacco Cask Finish (£58.99), a 12-year-old Sauternes Cask Finish (£60.99), and a 13-year-old Rioja Cask Finish (£63.99).
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 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 12-year-old that completed its maturation journey in French oak casks which previously held Sauternes, a dessert wine originating from Bordeaux in South-West France, after a medium level of toasting.
- A 13-year-old whisky which underwent secondary maturation in medium-toasted Spanish oak casks from Rioja, one of Spain’s premier wine regions.
Every whisky in the range is available in 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 commented:
“We are delighted to be launching our Wine Cask Series with a trio of 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 three bottlings: the Grattamacco delivers a nutty, stone fruit character, the Sauternes reveals an elegant grapefruit and elderflower tone, and the Rioja overflows with red berry sophistication.”
The Wine Cask Series follows recent innovative releases from The GlenAllachie including the Virgin Oak Series released in October 2020, which showcased three Scotch whiskies finished in unique oak types: Chinquapin, Spanish, and French Virgin Oak.
On the nose, the GlenAllachie 11-year-old Grattamacco Wine Cask Finish features waves of honey, peaches and apricots, with toffee, almonds and orange peel. The palate offers toffee, heather honey, red berries and peaches, fused with apricots, orange peel and nutmeg.
On the nose, the GlenAllachie 12-year-old Sauternes Wine Cask Finish features waves of heather honey, peaches and grapefruit, with hints of cinnamon and almonds. The palate delivers eather honey, treacle and pineapple, with peaches, sweet grapefruit and cinnamon.
On the nose, the GlenAllachie 13-year-old Rioja Wine Cask Finish offers waves of red berries, honey, grape must, orange peel and almonds. The palate delivers rich heather honey, sultanas, almonds and red berries, with barley sugar, grapefruit, orange peel and a hint of aniseed.
The GlenAllachie Wine Cask Series is available from specialist retailers globally, with further expressions in the pipeline to join the range in the coming years. For more information, head over to the GlenAllachie official website.