The nose on the GlenAllachie 11 Year Old 2007 by Signatory for The Whisky Barrel opens with such exuberant sherry funk that (1) I honestly could be convinced that I was nosing a Beaujolais; and, (2) there really should be a slap-bass band called Sherry Funakadelic. We also got clotted cream drying on muslin curtains, and Stephen, somewhat enigmatically, found a 500 year-old Yoda-like sage…who was actually a shiitake mushroom. (?) John also got Vienna sausages speared with alderwood toothpicks, wrapped in buttered sage leaves. My feeling was that they didn’t char this cask; they caramelized it, then aged crème brûlée in it.
The mouth is an especially vanilla-y, bourbon-y, white Karo syrup-y pecan pie—the kind that made you float along an aroma trail wafting from your Grandma’s kitchen, going “Mmmmm. Mmmmm. Mmmmmmmmm….” until you ended up there and she whacked you with a wooden spoon while snapping, “I’ll call you when it’s cooled down!” (Maybe your Grandma was nicer?) It’s a little tannic, and a lot hot: It’s warming my spirits, blood, and a leftover red pepper and quince pizza. But honestly, it’d be likely to hasten your demise, were you lost in the snowy woods, suffering from hypothermia. That’d be one case in which we couldn’t recommend a nip of this dram. We also got an unsweetened tart of deep red fruits, such as plums, cherries, cranberries, and raspberries. But there’s a meatiness, too; a steak with a glass of burgundy, and an appetizer of ocelot tartare, that kicked off a 10 minute discussion on how we prefer our ocelot to be prepared. It’s a full, rich, multi-spectrum sunset overlaying the horizon of the Pacific Ocean.
The finish is flinty and sparktastic, and it’s thin, but not emaciated. It starts light—but not thin—then spreads like magma overflowing a caldera. It’s big, pushing towards huge, and it stops a tad short of epic. Because of the high abv, 61.2%, I expected that water would have a calming effect, but instead it altered it, like a diluted nearby branch of the multiverse in which bacon was never discovered.
On the scale of Shakespearean characters–
The GlenAllachie 11 Year Old 2007 by Signatory for The Whisky Barrel is Sir John Falstaff–He appears in four plays, and is a big bold comic character. He’s the companion of a prince and justly steals all the scenes he’s in. Finally, Orson Wells considered Falstaff to be “Shakespeare’s greatest creation.” Do I consider this Signatory for the The Whisky Barrel’s greatest creation? Indeed I do!
–Our thanks to The Whisky Barrel for the sample!