You’re So Bhainne.
Connoisseurs Choice – 1996 Allt A Bhainne Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Gordon & MacPhail
Carly Simon’s “Your So Bhainne” came out in 1972. It hit number one in Canada, New Zealand, Australia in the US. Billboard Magazine has ranked it #92 on its Greatest Songs of All Time list. It also netted Ms. Simon three Grammy Award Nominations. There is also some speculation that “You’re So Bhainne” may be referring to Warren Beatty. I have never met Mr. Beatty so I can’t comment on his Bhannity. Anyway, seeing as this is a review for Allt A Bhainne, you’ll forgive me for the bad Dad whisky pun in the title.
Perhaps you’re reading this and are thinking: “Um, your spellcheck isn’t working, dude.” Most assuredly, it is. Like many Scotch whisky blends, Allt A Bhainne is Gaelic. In this case, it means: Burn Of Milk. I think you’d agree the Gaelic name is the more apt choice to put on the label. Also, as in Gaelic names, they’re not always pronounced the way they’re written. Allt A Bhainne is pronounced: Olt A Vain. (Boy that was a long way to go for a whisky pun – apologies.) The “bh” works like a “v” – just like in Bunnahabhain”
Back to the matter at hand: Connoisseurs Choice 1996 Allt A Bhainne Speyside Single Malt Scotch bottled and distributed, in this case, by Douglas & MacPhail. That’s a glassful indeed. Allt A Bhainne is a main whiskingredient in Chivas Regal, so I was looking forward to exploring the 1996 on its own. (The year refers to the year this whisky was distilled. My particular expression was bottled in 2014; currently the latest version of this expression was bottled in 2018.) G&M’s Connoisseurs Choice whiskies are all small batch, natural coloured and non-chill filtered. Some brands add colouring, some don’t – I’m fine either way. In this case, my Allt A Bhainne presents itself with a soft pale gold hue in my glass.
A first nosing presents me with a gift basket of fruit featuring apples, pears, some citrus – even a slice of fresh watermelon. A welcoming whisky indeed. A few vanilla droplets and some allspice add a little more texture to the fruit basket. Putting whisky to tongue, the fruit basket was ever present; however, a dash of white pepper and allspice followed along adding some zing to the fruit slices. Interestingly, a hint of Sealtest chocolate milk came through but then again, this is “Burn Of Milk” so it shouldn’t be that surprising. Finishing things up, this whisky lingers softly and warmly at the back of the throat. It doesn’t leave in a hurry, but it doesn’t stay for too long a time either. It says what it has to say then departs.
This Allt A Bhainne expression is a sunny-summer-afternoon-with-a slight-breeze in a glass. It’s a light, refreshing, and tasty whisky. I like to say there’s a whisky for everyone and a whisky for every occasion, be it personal or meteorological. This tasting was based on the latter. I wonder if that means my glass was a weatherbhainne? Cheers.
Colour: Pale gold.
Nose: Orchard fruit basket, citrus zest, watermelon, vanilla and a dash of allspice.
Taste: Orchard fruit, white pepper, Sealtest chocolate milk and allspice.