For the third release in our Antarctica Series, photographer Ilse Everaert allowed us to use a magnificent photo of Paradise Bay. But with these hot temperatures, we also wanted to offer something of a summery whisky. In our (not so) humble opinion, we succeeded. Please meet our 24 years old Allt-A-Bhainne, a malt of which owner Chivas does not even have an official release. But Manny and I thought of you. You’re welcome.
The nose is wonderfully fresh and bright on apples and pears, pineapple juice, citrussy notes, apricots and mango. If you pay attention, you might even detect a single strawberry. A light floral and herbal note gives it the summery character. Wet hay in the background. Lots of honey and some green tea. Delicate hints of eucalyptus. Complex? Nope. Good? Damn straight!
The taste is wonderfully sweet on all kinds of ripe fruits – citrus and apricots in the lead now – but immediately followed by a surprisingly sturdy spiciness in the guise of vanilla, caramelized ginger and a single grain of pepper. Round and mouth coating. It even turns a bit creamy on toffee and sticky honey.
The finish is medium long, spicy without losing its sweetness and drying at the death.
A blender’s whisky, they say, but take your time for this one and you’ll find this a very attractive and yummie Allt-A-Bhainne! We were impressed by this intense fruity and spicy Speysider. Remember: only 50 bottles as Mark & Manny are wont to do.