Part of a new peated range from GlenAllachie Distilery, this is a sumptuous blended malt aged to perfection at 21 years.
The original MacNair’s whisky was founded in the 1800’s, since then it has been passed around various different distilleries, before being bought by the GlenAllachie Distillery. Helmed by Master Distiller Billy Walker, GlenAllachie Distillery in Aberlour was recently brought back to life itself, after a relaunch in 2017.
The MacNair’s brand was given an overhaul, as Walker describes:
“We wanted to highlight the history of the MacNair’s name and the character of the company founder – by all accounts Harvey MacNair was a raconteur and bon vivant; well-travelled, a blender, a bottler, a distiller, a rascal! We also wished to showcase the twist that an experienced Master Blender, using today’s knowledge of distilling techniques and wood management, could bring to a decades old brand.”
The range has been incredibly successful so far, with the 21 Year Old being awarded World’s Best Blended Malt. This is quite an accolade for the brand and GlenAllachie as a whiole, given the youthfulness of the distillery. Walker said of their win:
“Blended Malt can be a challenging category for the consumer to grasp, in fact the old terminology of Vatted Malt was perhaps easier to immediately understand. When MacNair’s 21yo was awarded World’s Best Blended Malt, in a blind tasting, it gave consumers the confidence to try the whisky and see for themselves what the fuss was about. It was also recognition of the work behind the scenes to create a truly memorable Blended Malt.”
MacNair’s Lum Reek 21 Year Old Peated Blended Malt Scotch Whisky
GlenAllachie have recently brought back MacNair’s to celebrate the quality of the blended malt they are making there, and as Walker himself says “The first release MacNair’s Lum Reek showcases the art of blending – making the sum greater than the parts.”
Walker elaborated on the MacNair’s Lum Reek range, distinguishing it from competition:
“As a Blended Malt Lum Reek consists of a marriage of malt whisky from numerous single malt distilleries. A marriage of peated Single Malts from Islay and peated Single Malts from the Highland region with particular emphasis on GlenAllachie. Twenty one year old Islay Single Malts are exceptionally rare but their contribution to Lum Reek is invaluable as they bring subtle hints of peat smoke, the Speysides add butterscotch and toffee notes, the GlenAllachie in particular contributes depth and richness.”
Tasting notes for MacNair’s 21 Year Old Lum Reek Blended Malt Peated Scotch Whisky
Bottle cost: £125
The 21 Year Old Lum Reek release has been hand crafted with a unique maturation process, which Walker also delves into:
“Once all the malts have been blended they are filled to a variety of different casks, first fill PX puncheons, 1st Fill Ex Bourbon, Wine Barriques sourced from the great chateau of France. This secondary maturation period lets the flavours marry and also for these specially selected casks to take the whisky on a new flavour journey.”
“After this secondary maturation period of at least 3 years Billy selects the casks to be used for bottling, and of course MacNair’s 21yo is bottled at 48% for flavour, non chilfiltered and natural colour.”
The nose begins with notes of peat smoke and caramel. It is dense and full of flavour. Fudge and chocolate come through and give it a lovely edge.
The palate has more sweetness and a lovely waft of oak wood throughout. It is all wrapped up in earthy flavours of peat smoke, tobacco and leather. Pine needles and chocolate give it a lovely depth and are complimented by smooth honey and cinnamon.
The finish is peaty and warming, with a final note of oak.
The new MacNair’s range is certainly a brilliant addition for the GlenAllachie Distillery. The 21 Year Old is brimming with flavour and is a refreshing exploration into peated Speyside blends. The Distillery are definitely doing exciting things and challenging whisky boundaries. We can’t wait to see what comes next!
Speaking of 21 Year Old whiskies, there’s a stunning GlenAllachie 21 Year Old out too which is absolutely delightful… whiskies straight from the archives of this stellar distillery.
With a very limited release of only 1,600 bottles available worldwide, 21-year-old Cask Strength Batch 1 (RRP £199) has been issued on limited allocation and substantially oversubscribed by global distributors. The expression, which will be batch-released on an annual basis, is intended to cater to both whisky enthusiasts and the festive gifting market.
Are you a fan of the GlenAllachie Distillery? Share your thoughts in the comments!