Glenallachie Virgin Oak Series: Three single malts finished in three different types of fresh oak casks

French, Spanish and American oak - three bottlings demonstrate the influence of wood


The new Virgin Oak Series of Glenallachie demonstrates whisky fans the influence of different types of wood on whisky maturation. The whiskies that were bottled with the same alcohol strength of 48% ABV are each 12 years old. There was no chill filtering and coloring. All three single malts were initially matured in ex-bourbon barrels made from American white oak (Quercus Alba) as a base, before an 18-month finish in different fresh casks followed that caused differentiated aromatic characters.

All three bottlings are already available: Glenallachie French Virgin Oak 12 Years, Glenallachie Spanish Virgin Oak 12 Years and Glenallachie Chinquapin Virgin Oak 12 Years

The casks: three times oak, three times different origins

Master Distiller Billy Walker chose French, Spanish and American oak finishes. The French oak (Quercus Robur) comes from the Haute-Garonne region on the edge of the Pyrenees and was allowed to air dry for 15 months before it was processed into casks and started to influence the whisky. The Spanish Quercus Robur oak comes from Galicia and Asturias, especially from the cooler Cantabrian Mountains, and was granted an air dry period of 18 months. The third type of oak used is at home in America: the Chinquapine oak (Quercus Muehlenbergii) is a subspecies of Quercus Alba and gives particularly spicy aromas. The wood dried in the air for four years.

Producer's tasting notes for the Glenallachie Virgin Oak bottlings

French Virgin Oak 12yo
Colour: Rich Bronze.
Nose: Waves of honey, toffee, mocha, orange zest and nutmeg.
Taste: Heather honey, toffee and butterscotch, with layers of mocha, cinnamon, grapefruit, and a hint of earthy tannins.

Spanish Virgin Oak 12yo
Colour: Rich Bronze.
Nose: Waves of honey, coconut and treacle, followed by orange zest and cinnamon.
Taste: Layers of heather honey, treacle, coconut and orange zest, fused with mocha, nutmeg and cinnamon.

Chinquapin Virgin Oak 12yo
Colour: Rich Bronze Sunrise.
Nose: Waves of heather honey, butterscotch and orange zest, fused with nutmeg and liquorice.
Taste: Layers of heather honey, barley sugar, toasted biscuit and orange zest, followed by cinnamon, rosehips and liquorice.

Image: Glenallachie via Kirsch Import