Glenallachie 18 Years

”Bitter Tears”

Whisky Review # 948
Country: Scotland
Region: Speyside
Brand: Glenallachie
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Age: 18 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: Mix of Ex-Oloroso, Ex-PX and Virgin Oak casks
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 105-130 (May 2022)
Price/Quality Ratio: 👎 The quite similar 15 Years has the better P/Q ratio
Buying Advice: 😐 Not really bad but not my kinda thing.

Colour: Amber (Natural Color)


Be sure to give this Glenallachie enough time in the glass before nosing to avoid the initial wafts of Varnish and Shoe Polish. The nose is on the Thin side and I would not give it 18 Years in a blind tasting. It's a mix of Sweet and Sour notes with lots of (Dried) Fruit and Nuts. Some of the Fruit notes remind me of Artificially flavored Candies rather than the real thing. The influence of the Sherried Wood is noticeable but this Glenallachie is not really a Sherry bomb. It's actually a rather shy nose and you have to dig deep to find most of the supportive Aromas. The Alcohol is not totally integrated but it does not interfere with the nosing procedures either.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Buttered Toast, Butterscotch, Heather-Honey, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Sultanas, Plums, Dates and Apricots, Artificially-flavored Candies (Raspberry, Red Grapes, Banana, Pineapple), Mixed Nuts and Nutshells, Grass & Straw, Dusty Oak, Apple-Vinegar, Chocolate, Strong Espresso, Dusty Track, Pepper, Salt, Cinnamon & Ginger.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Toffee, Caramel, Demerara Sugar, Vanilla, Orange, Grapefruit, Tangerine, Dough, Wax, Glue, Varnish, Shoe Polish, Nougat, Marzipan, Floral Soap, Leather, Tobacco, Herbal Tea, Nutmeg, Currie, Cardamom, Virgin Oak, Iron and Fertilizer.


A little on the Thin side. Sweet and Sour at first but with increasing Bitterness along the way. It's a bit Dirty but in a slightly Artificial and almost Chemical way. Nothing like Springbank or Ledaig to be sure. A hint of Sulfur perhaps. The Alcohol is more noticeable here.

Main Flavours:

Malted and Toasted Barley, Butterscotch, Heather-Honey, Liquid Fruitcake sprinkled with Raisins, Sultanas and Dried Fruit like Apricot, Plums and Figs, Orange Peel, Grapefruit, Apple-Vinegar, Mixed Nuts (Almonds, Walnuts), Nougat, Espresso, Dark Chocolate, Dusty Oak, Cinnamon, Pepper, Nutmeg and Mint.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Toffee, Salted Caramel, Brown Sugar, Dark Cherries, Red Grapes, Tobacco, Leather, Wax, Herbal Tea with a dash of Lemon, Soy Sauce, Ashes, Dusty Track, Cardamom, Currie, Cloves and Licorice.


iddle-Long, a bit Thin and certainly Tannic. Sweet and Sour notes at first but with increasing Bitterness towards the rather Dry end. The Alcohol is quite noticeable at this point. I find Toasted Barley, Toffee, Brown Sugar, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Nuts, Dried Fruit like Sultanas, Dates, Plums & Apricots, Dark Cherries, Grapefruit, Red Grapes, Orange, Green Apple, Nougat, Dark Chocolate, Dusty Oak, Wood Polish, Herbal Tea, Leather, Tobacco, Licorice, Pepper, Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Cloves, Cardamom, Currie, Ash, Strong Espresso and Menthol. After some time I believe the Nuts to be mostly Walnuts. And I get some Honey and Apple-Vinegar as well.

Drinking Advice:

Added Water enhances the Fruit on the Nose and helps to calm down the Alcohol on the Palate and in the Finish. A few drops don't hurt in this case.

Rating: 84

Nose: 21 - Taste: 21 - Finish: 21 - Overall: 21

Drinking Experience Neat:

Okay/Good. Not really my type of Whisky.


The Glenallachie Distillery is quite new and was founded only in 1967. It is located on a hill above Aberlour, close to Ben Rinnes. It closed from 1987 to 1989 when it was purchased by Pernod Ricard who in turn sold it to The Glenallachie Distillers Company in 2017. Most of the Spirit disappeared in Blends like Clan Campbell, House of Lords, White Heather & Chivas Regal until 2018. At that time a core range was launched by the new owners including the 10 Years CS, the 12, 15, 18, 21 CS and 30 CS. The 18 Years was actually added to the core range in 2018.

This 18 Year old Glenallachie is quite similar to the 15 Years I reviewed earlier. Both feel younger than they are and they both present this kind of Artificial and Dirty Bitterness that I'm not really in to. Despite the fact that I love the Dirty notes in Malts like Springbank and Ledaig. But those notes feel authentic and that's not the case here. I can't help but feel that Glenallachie has much more potential than it shows with the 15 and the 18 years. Maybe it's time for them to consider a shorter Middle Run and a tighter cask Management. Because at these prices their peers simply outperform them.


Jan van den Ende                                                                            May 24, 2022

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