Infrequent Flyers is the first range of independent bottlers from Alistair Walker (ex-BenRiach, son of Billy Walker who is now running GlenAllachie).
The first batch contains 9 bottlings, from young Fettercairn to old Glen Keith. Alistair loves wood finishes so he’s currently re-racking part of his inventory for the future.
Currently the whiskies are distributed to the UK, Germany, Belgium, Japan and New Zealand.
Glen Keith 26 yo 1993 (54%, Alistair Walker ‘Infrequent Flyers’ 2019, barrel #8511, 143 btl.)
Nose: quite pungent at first, but it folds open nicely on apricots, ripe banana, creamy coconut and vanilla ice cream. Orange peel. Some green and minty hints. Caramel coated almonds.
Mouth: the cask was quite active here, with peppery oak, ginger and a light bitterness. Dried apricots and yellow raisins in a second wave, moving towards chocolate. Herbal touches and peppermint in the end. Water makes it better, bringing out more fruits and less pungency.
Finish: long, with drying oak, herbal tea and Seville oranges.
The expected fruitiness is certainly here, but also quite a bit of active wood. Water is recommended to round off the edges. Available from The Whisky Exchange for instance.
Orkney Malt 2003 (54,9%, Alistair Walker ‘Infrequent Flyers’ 2019, hogshead #A521-9, 337 btl.)
Nose: in the middle between fruity notes and minerality. Unripe pears, sweet lemon. Some chalk. A bit of vanilla and plain barley, as well as some buttery pastry notes. A subtle salty touch.
Mouth: quite creamy, with slightly tart fruits (orange, green banana, lemon, green apple) further lifted by a fresh coastal side. A little wax and chalk. Subtle smoke in the background.
Finish: medium, quite naked and malty, with some minerals notes.
A fairly naked, mellowed version of Highland Park. Nicely balanced and reasonably priced. Available from The Whisky Exchange or Master of Malt for instance.
Cameronbridge 24 yo 1995 (59,5%, Alistair Walker ‘Infrequent Flyers’ 2019, hogshead #8047657, 246 btl.)
Nose: starts on vanilla and baked bananas, but quickly moves towards the dry side with warm sawdust and leather. Some earthy touches (humus) and dried grassy notes. A little (salted) caramel and nutmeg.
Mouth: marzipan, vanilla and sour fruits (peach, lemon pie and citric sweets). Fudge and candyfloss. Hints of caramel latte. It can’t hide some of the leathery, grassy roughness.
Finish: a little short, still on the latte and plenty of spicy toasted wood.
Not bad but a little rough and unsexy. It doesn’t quite rock my boat. Available from Master of Malt or The Whisky Exchange for instance.