The GlenAllachie Distillery
is experimenting with wine cask maturation in its latest release: the 2012 Vintage Cuvée Wine Cask Finish.
Borrowing the wine sector term 'cuvée' (meaning a blend that typically comprises more than one variety of grape), the nine-year-old release marries single malt whisky finished in casks that previously held four types of European red wine: Languedoc, Recioto Della Valpolicella, and two undisclosed Premier Cru Classés.
After an initial maturation in ex-bourbon barrels, the spirit underwent 20 months of additional ageing in the wine barriques – which were selected by The GlenAllachie's master distiller Billy Walker
– at the distillery's on-site warehouses.
According to tasting notes supplied by The GlenAllachie, the Languedoc casks impart notes of “red fruits, sweet spices and garden herbs”, the Recioto Della Valpolicella, produced in Verona, Italy, contributes “ripe cherries, coconut shavings, liquorice and raspberry coulis”, and the Premier Cru Classé wood brings “blackcurrant, espresso coffee and wild truffle”.
Bottled at 48% ABV, the 2012 Vintage Cuvée Wine Cask Finish is presented without chill filtration and with natural colour.
Of the launch, Walker said: “As an impassioned wine enthusiast, devising a Cuvée has been nothing short of a dream project. I’m fortunate to have longstanding relationships with premium wine producers across Europe which has opened doors for us to create a whisky with intricate charm.
“As a blender at heart, identifying wine styles that would sit well together and capture distinctive qualities presented an enjoyable challenge. They say, ‘never mix grape and grain’, but I say this marriage is a match made in heaven.”
The GlenAllachie 2012 Vintage Cuvée Wine Cask Finish (RRSP £53.99) will be available from global specialist retailers.