Billy Walker, credited as the man who reversed the fortunes of several Scotch distilleries, is marking the occasion with a special release of three GlenAllachie Scotch whisky expressions.

Walker is renowned the resuscitations he performed on BenRiach and GlenDronach distilleries, and during his half century in the industry, he has worked with brands including Ballantine’s, Deanston distillery and Tobermory.

Walker, who qualified as a chemist in 1967, reflected on his five decades in the spirits business.

 “I’m incredibly lucky to have been involved in the fascinating Scotch Whisky Industry for 50 long years. What a privilege it has been to have worked alongside some truly amazing people, and indeed to have been involved with some world-leading brands,” Walker said.

“Of course, there are some great memories and I truly pride in many of the achievements which our teams have achieved over the past half-century.”

To mark his half-century in the business, Walker has released a triple of single malts from GlenAllachie distillery, which he purchased from Chivas Bros. in 2017. The three bottlings are named: GlenAllachie Past, GlenAllachie Present and GlenAllachie Future. Each expression is described as representing ‘key milestones throughout Walker’s vibrant career.’

After purchasing Speyside distillery, GlenAllachie, Walker followed a similar formula to the one that had seen success at GlenDronach, relaunching the distillery’s style as a big, fruity single malt, with considerable use of sherry casks.

The GlenAllachie Billy Walker 50th Anniversary Past Edition is also said to be in ‘the archetypal Billy Walker style’, having been aged in sherry casks for fully 16 years.

The bottling contains spirit from nine 2005-vintage Spanish sherry butts, selected by Walker himself. The final product has bee bottled at 57.1 per cent ABV and is described as possessing ‘enticing layers of dark chocolate and glazed fig, alongside a banana bread and espresso coffee character.’

This first of the three bottlings will retail for 225 GBP and will be available through ‘global specialist retailers’.

Walker contextualised this release within his wider career.

“The latest adventure is The GlenAllachie Distillery, and without question, we are so very fortunate to be steering this great distillery into the future, introducing its whisky to an ardent international audience.”

Trisha Savage, Walker’s long-time business partner and recently retired Commercial Director of GlenAllachie, was on-hand to comment.

“Working alongside Billy for 35 years has been a total pleasure. I can honestly say I’ve never come across anyone with his level of drive, dedication and passion for Scotch whisky.”

“His focus has always been to achieve ‘perfection’; only using the highest quality of wood and monitoring the spirit every step of the way. Nothing leaves the cask until it’s deemed to be exceptional,” Savage continued.

“I would personally like to congratulate Billy on his 50th Anniversary year. You’re a true industry legend.”

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *