Allt-á-Bhainne is not an obvious choice, I’ve only ever tried one that reached a score above 80 (and most other reviews don’t even share my opinion). So there, I can already predict the WhiskyNerds may have found the best whisky from this distillery – ever.
They selected a 23 years old Allt-a-Bhainne 1997, bottled from a barrel.
Allt-á-Bhainne 23 yo 1997 (52,4%, WhiskyNerds 2020, barrel #102589, 114 btl.)
Nose: fairly sweet, mainly on yellow apples and stewed rhubarb, with vanilla pastry and apricot tartlets in the background. Citrus peel. There’s a firm oaky side, the polished kind with beeeswax and light pepper. Dried yellow flowers. Minty notes, as well as a wee earthy touch underneath. The waxy roundness makes it pleasantly old-style.
Mouth: moderately fruity again, say peaches and orange peels, gooseberries, later also grapefruit. Slightly floral barley with hints of candied ginger. Sweet oak and hints of fruit tea. This is no wham-bam whisky, it’s highly integrated and you need to make an effort to get past the barley notes.
Finish: medium, with malty notes, orchard fruits and a hint of green tea.
A refined, attractive nose, which wouldn’t be out of place on a 30+ year-old. On the palate I find it slightly more ‘average’. All fine but it doesn’t have the same sparkle as their Speyside 1994 in my opinion. Around € 200, still available in Holland.