Allt-A-Bhainne 2000 (Signatory Vintage)

“The Dark Side of the Malt”

Whisky Review # 1023

Country: Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
Region: Speyside
Brand: Allt-A-Bhainne - Distilled: 26-07-2000
Bottled By: Signatory Vintage SWC Ltd, Pitlochry on 28-11-2022
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Scotch Whisky - Cask # 9 - Bottle # 183 of 689
Age: 22 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 52.3% (Cask Strength)
Maturation: Hogshead with 27 months Finish in Fresh Sherry Butt
Chill Filtration: No
Sample provided by Mauricio from Brazil. Many Thanks!
Average Price: US$ 220 (June 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: 😐 Okay considering the long maturation
Buying Advice: 👍 if you are a true fan of heavy Sherried malts


Darkest Amber/Brown (Natural Colour) - One of the darkest Malts I've reviewed


Be sure to give this Allt-A-Bhainne sufficient time in the glass before Nosing as it opens up slowly. This Allt-A-Bhainne looks and smells Dark and Mature, almost like a Liqueur. It's a classic Sweet Sherry Nose with lots of Dried and Fresh Fruit, Nuts and Caramel. Pretty straight-forward.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Caramel, Demerara Sugar, Honey, Dried Fruit like Sultanas, Dates, Figs, Plums and Apricots, Dark Red Berries & Cherries, Wax, Orange-flavored Dark Chocolate, Oak, Mixed Nuts, Dusty Earth, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Mint and Menthol.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Vanilla, Butterscotch, Buttered Toast, Marzipan, Nougat, Brandy, Strawberries and Cream, Dried Herbs, Leather, Tobacco, Cloves and Ginger.


The delivery is less compact than you would expect and the Alcohol is noticeable. The Bitter-Sweet Palate basically follows the Nose with all the characteristic Sherry flavors. A few nice Salty and Sour notes. It's well-made but it lacks excitement.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley, Demerara Sugar, Salted Caramel, Dried Fruit like Plums, Sultanas, Figs & Dates, Dark Red Berries & Cherries, Wax, Orange-flavored Dark Chocolate, Mixed Nuts, Oak, Pepper, Nutmeg, Cloves, Leather, Menthol and Licorice.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Heather-Honey, Vanilla, Molasses, Toffee, Buttery Puff-Pastry filled with Apricots, Marzipan, Dusty Earth, Dried Herbs, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Ginger and Tobacco.


Quite Long with lingering Oak and Spices. A mix of Bitter, Sweet and Sour notes. It's rather Dry as well. I find Sweet Barley, Brown Sugar, Syrup, Caramel, Vanilla, Dried Fruit like Plums, Sultanas and Dates, Dark Red Berries and Cherries, Wax, Orange-flavored Dark Chocolate, Mixed Nuts, Strong Espresso, Pepper, Cinnamon, Cloves, Ginger, Cardamom, Salt, Tobacco, Licorice and Menthol.

Drinking Advice:

I added a bit of Water and that helps to calm down the Alcohol. It also makes this Single Malt less intense and easier to drink. Better try it out both ways.

Rating: 7.5 (*******1/2)

Nose: 7.5 - Taste: 7.5 - Finish: 8 

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

If the Final score is 8 or higher you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink.

Drinking Experience Neat: Good but unsurprising.

Allt-a-Bhainne was founded in 1975 by Chivas Brothers, basically as a supplier of Malt for their Blends, principally 100 Pipers. It was mothballed between October 2002 and May 2005. A distillery range of Single Malts does not exist so we have to look at Independent Bottlers. It's a very large distillery with two pairs of stills that produce over 4 million litres per year.

This Allt-A-Bhainne is well-made and quite suitable as an after-dinner Malt. It's a typical sherried Speysider/Highlander in the style of Glenfarclas/GlenDronach but darker. But I also found it a bit too straight-forward and "simple" to really impress. Maybe also a bit Over-Sherried if that's a word. Only for true fans of this type of Whisky.

Cheers 🥃

Jan van den Ende                                                                         June 6, 2024

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