I think it is safe to say that Allt-á-Bhainne is probably one of the least known Speysiders around. The distillery is located near Dufftown in the Speyside region. It was built in 1965 to supply the blended whiskys of the Chivas Brothers who in turn were sold to the Pernod Ricard Company in 1981. Almost all of the production goes for blending for brands such as 100 Pipers and Chivas Regal. There is no visitor centre which also adds to the under the radar feeling!!! There is no official bottling but a few independent bottlings are around from such as Gordon and MacPhail, Cadenheads, Murray MacDavid and of course the Douglas Laing Provenance range but often you really have to seek this one out
This particular offering, an 11 year old Allt-á-Bhainne distilled in the Summer of 2000 and aged in a single sherry butt before bottling for the Provenance range in Winter 2011 came from a shop on Deeside in Scotland inclusive of a heavy layer of dust on the box!!!
But now to the whisky .
I poured the whisky in to a Copita nosing glass, added a teaspoon of water and left the whisky covered to develop for ten minutes.Incidently this is a whisky that water should be added to, to gain the full experience of this subtle whisky.
The whisky pours a honeyed golden colour, leaving long legs flowing down the inside of the glass.
The nose is initially quite aromatic with notes of honey and digestive biscuits coming forward. This is followed by a little cedar wood, a touch of vanilla and perhaps more honey and cumin spice.
A really warm and floral opening to the whisky.
The flavour is initially quite slow and soft with hints of honey , barley grist, hazelnuts and a touch of milk chocolate but as the whisky develops on the palate the honey and barley gain momentum. This is followed by notes of biscuit, a little ginger spice but honey and milk chocolate predominate here.
The taste finished with a ribbon of ginger snap and a faint wisp of smoke running through.
The finish is long and warming with notes of oak and sherry.
This whisky is absolutly wonderful, soft but not at the expense of flavour . It actually feels as though you are drinking liquid Toblerone, it has that same honeyed chocolate luxurious feeling !!!!
Exceedingly well balanced and well made and most highly recommended for those who enjoy Speyside whisky