Origin: Speyside (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon, ex-Rye whiskey and virgin
Added coloring: No
Owner: The GlenAllachie Distillers Co Limited
Average price: € 130.00
Official website: theglenallachie.com
Billy Walker is one of those names that has truly made Scotch whisky history, putting his experience in the field at the service of so many distilleries, succeeding in bringing back labels that were in danger of falling into oblivion.
Deanston, Tobermory, BenRiach, GlenDronach, Glenglassaugh and now The GlenAllachie, which since coming under his careful supervision (2017) has quickly built a solid reputation among aficionados, but there are many distilleries that have benefited even from his advice in their early days, leaving his mark on a good slice of whisky that we find in our glasses today.
Fifty years of career that his latest (re)creation has celebrated with the Billy Walker Series, three limited bottlings of 10,000 bottles each that from 2022 intend to represent the steps of his career: the past (Past Edition, a sixteen year old in ex sherry, casks that he loved so much), the present (Present Edition, another sixteen year old finished in mizunara casks, to represent his constant search for new paths) and this future, the youngest in the series, which introduces the distillery’s first peated whisky.
The result of Walker’s first supervised distillation for The GlenAllachie, using Speyside peat (80ppm) and with a very long fermentation of 160 hours (instead of the usual 120), it was matured in a special mix of casks for four years, marking the first step in the shift of production towards peat, with six weeks a year dedicated to this profile.
Since it is the new element in this bottling, let’s talk immediately about the peat on the nose, which is obviously not that of the island and expresses itself in its earthy and woody guise, toasted juniper and bark with burnt wood, without however overpowering the other aromas that are integrated with plenty of orange, hazelnut, coriander, nutmeg, chestnut honey and caramelised apple. The tones tend towards sweet and sour, like certain meat dishes in Chinese restaurants, with a reduction of balsamic vinegar, coffee, burnt caramel and a subtle mineral vein. Significant alcohol content but completely absent.
The palate reveals its sugary soul, with a sweet and toasted peat like a Catalan cream together with baked pear and apple, vanilla, nuts and bitter orange marmalade. Well-present spices, declined in black pepper, ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon that decisively punctuate the flavours where citrus fruit grows in intensity over time along with evocations of burnt wood, with a mineral and salty vein that intrudes decisively and lingers in length.
The finish is quite long and ashy, where the sugary and fruity inflections remain with the spices in the background and the saline part always clearly evident.
It is always nice to find peat that expresses itself in a different and original way, and while this whisky pays for its youth on the palate, on the nose it already reveals a beautiful complexity and richness that bodes well for the future.