Glenallachue Distillery



History - Speyside is a relatively small area in Scotland but it is the most densely packed when it comes to whisky distilleries, with one in your eye-line every way you turn. There are some truly global brands that come out of this region, such as The Macallan and Glenfiddich but there as also some that most people would have never heard of. Glenallachue was one of them, that was until in 2017 when Scotch entrepreneur Billy Walker took the reigns. The distillery itself is a baby com-pared to some of its neighbours being built in 1967.

The Whisky – The team here plan to mirror the model used for BenRiach, GlenDronach and Glenglassaugh distilleries and turn GlenAllachie into a very popular and demanded single malt whisky and not just known as a single malt used for blends. After acquiring the distillery they set about creating a single malt and last year they launched it to 30 different markets around the world. The range comprises of a 10¬-year-¬old, 12¬-year-¬old, 18¬-year-¬old and 25¬-year-¬old, with some interesting single cask releases on offer as well. They also released six single¬-cask whiskies which included a 1978 vintage, two 1989 bottlings, two 1990 vintages and a whisky laid down in 1991 to celebrated the 50th anniversary of the distillery.

Geek Alert - Scottish distilleries built around the 60’s were constructed to meet demand on blend-ed whisky coming from the US during that time. Their flavour profiles were one of a light and floral profile. While they may not be as aesthetically pleasing to the eye as the older ones they were built for purpose, to pump out good quality single malt for the masses.

Why Visit? – One of the first things its new owners did was lay plans to open a visitors centre in the distillery. Last month during the Spirit of Speyside Festival it did just that, with it now open to visitors for the first time since it was built in 1967. They offer two tours, the standard will cost you £15 for an in-depth experience of how they create their whisky as well as trying three drams at the end. If you are a geek like myself then you can book on their two hour long connoisseurs tour for £50 which is pretty much the same format but super charged with a more interesting tour and drams at the end.

Interesting fact – When Billy Walker and his team purchased Glenallachue back in 2017 it came as quite a surprise to some in the whisky industry. In 2004 Billy and two South African investors, Geoff Bell and Wayne Kieswetter, had previously bought BenRiach and later GlenDronach and Glenglassaugh. In 2016 they sold the three distilleries for a cool £285m to American based Brown-Forman brands and for most people that would be it as they set off into the sun-set. Not for Billy Walker though, a year later he announced that he had purchased Glenallachue from Pernod Ricard with plans to revamp the distillery into more than just a whisky used for blends.