Most whisky fans will be familiar with Adelphi Selection and their position as one of the more prominent Independent Bottlers. I was aware of them but, up until recently, had never managed to try them. Fortunately, due to credit remaining on the engagement dowry (since gone but not forgotten), I luckily managed to find a bottle or three of their most recent bottlings thanks to a close friend back home (Cheers, Sully!).
Adelphi were formed in 1993 by Jamie Walker, and they are named after the former distillery that operated from 1823 to 1907 in Glasgow, with the connection being that his great grandfather, Archibald, actually ran the distillery from 1880 to 1902.
In their own words:
Adelphi bottles straight from the cask without colouring or chill-filtration. This allows the true and unadulterated flavours of the whisky to remain locked in, until released into the glass – with each bottling limited, by the size of the cask to between 100 and 700 bottles.
Identifying only the very best casks allows us to offer a range of styles and regions with our panel of professional ‘noses’ chaired by world authority on Scotch whisky and Master of the Quaich, Charles MacLean.
Additionally, someone at Adelphi has crunched the numbers and calculated that they only accept a meagre 4% of the casks they are offered, such is the criteria for selecting only the rarest and most-sought after whiskies.
This review will be on an 11 Year Old Single Malt sourced from Benrinnes Distillery which is owned by unpopular drink behemoth, Diageo. Based in Aberlour, other than the odd independent bottling, the majority of their whisky is used for blends such as Johnnie Walker and they have only ever had one official release which was a 15 Year Old way back in 1991. As an aside, it feels a bit odd writing that out – 1991 doesn’t feel that long ago, yet it’s close to 30 years past. Ho hum.
Aged for all of its 11 years in a first fill sherry hogshead, there were 319 of these released and bottled at 57.8%. As quoted above, it’s NCF and NCA, and I have whacked it in to a Glencairn to rest for 5/10 minutes.
Colour: Reddish amber
Nose: Definite sherry influence. Raisins. Plum jam on slightly burnt toast with a bit of butter. Toffee. Rolling tobacco.
Palate: Very jammy and sweet, with chocolate raisins and cocoa in there. Well balanced and a wee bit waxy too – like a duvet for my tongue.
Finish: Short to medium. Warming. There’s very little spice or bite for the ABV.
This was opened at a recent BBQ and was the most popular whisky there out of several strong contenders. A very relaxing whisky, drinkable and embracing, which is probably why we managed to finish close to half the bottle between 4 of us before I had to prise it away. All in all, an enjoyable first Adephi experience and glad I have a couple of others hidden at the back of the cupboard which I can look forward to opening at a later date.
As an aside, I enjoy the less-is-more style of packaging, letting the wide array of colours in their whiskies do the talking and not covering the bottles or simple packaging in tasting waffle or romanticised storytelling. It’s what’s in the bottle that really counts.