Thursday, May 19, 2022

Review / White Heather 15 years old

The Glenallachie Distillers Company have just released this new blended Scotch whisky. The White Heather 15 years old joins the 21 years old expression in the White Heather range, which was first launched last year, and forms part of the wider MacNair's Boutique House of Spirits. This includes the Lum Reek blended malt and Exploration Rum brands. The White Heather is blended by Billy Walker, the Master Distiller and co-owner of Glenallachie. It features single malts from Islay, the north Highlands and Speyside plus single grain whisky. These have been matured in a combination of virgin oak, ex-bourbon, ex-Oloroso and ex-Pedro Ximenez sherry casks. 

The White Heather 15 years old will be available globally through selected specialist whisky retailers and is bottled at 46% ABV. It is also non chill-filtered and of natural colour. A bottle will cost £60/ $78.50 US.

Our tasting notes

The colour is golden yellow and the nose is sweet, fruity and floral. Aromas of golden syrup and honey combine well with cooked apple compote and poached pear. Underneath are further aromas of vanilla custard, delicate baking spices and a pinch of cocoa powder. A whiff of Summer flowers gives a light and bright feel.

On the palate this whisky is soft, gentle and immediately sweet. Plenty of vanilla start the proceedings (think of fresh vanilla pods and that vanilla custard from the nose), plus a distinct citrus-like kick - this has a bittersweet twist and is reminiscent of orange and lemon peel. The stewed orchard fruits from the nose are also present and at a good level - imagine apple crumble and poached pears with a butterscotch sauce. Delicious.

The sweetness is accentuated by notes of golden syrup and heather honey. The honey in particular moves the mid-palate in a floral direction, with the Summer flowers from the nose and a hint of rose petal coming through nicely. Underneath are some gentle warming wood spices and soft background peat smoke that ends up wrapping itself around the other notes to give a good savoury element.

The finish is of decent length the sweet, fruity and floral notes slowly drift away and this leaves the woody spices and that delicate peat smoke to shine. A late hit white pepper and gingerbread add warmth and depth.

What's the verdict?

The White Heather 15 years old is lovely and packed with layers of flavour. We particularly enjoyed the brightness and vibrancy. The fruitiness and sweetness work well together and are complimented well by the unusual floral notes. All are underpinned by that warming spiciness and a lick of gentle peat smoke, which is used like seasoning rather than being a dominating force. Well worth a try.

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