THE co-founder of GlenAllachie Distillery, Billy Walker was awarded Master Distiller/Master Blender of the Year at the Icons of Whisky Awards. The distillery’s visitor centre also received the Highly Commended classification in the Visitor Attraction of the Year category.

The win at the annual Icons of Whisky Awards, which are presented by industry bible Whisky Magazine, comes just months after The GlenAllachie won the Scottish Whisky Distillery of the Year 2019 at the inaugural Scottish Whisky Awards.

Walker said: “I’m over the moon to win this prestigious award, it’s a wonderful way to round off the year. When we first acquired the distillery, I knew it had massive potential. It’s been hugely exciting to be part of its reawakening and share our outstanding single malts with the world.

“I’m particularly pleased that the visitor centre was highly commended. We’ve only been opened to visitors for just over seven months, and we have a growing team who deserve recognition for the work they’ve done to put The GlenAllachie back on the map.”

Prior to the arrival of Walker and co-founders Graham Stevenson and Trisha Savage, the distillery, which was built in 1967, was relatively unknown and focused on producing malts for blends.

Since then, Walker and his team have built The GlenAllachie into a global independent whisky brand through a series of single malt releases and by opening the distillery to the public for the first time in its history. The run of releases began in March 2018 with a special bottling of limited edition single cask whiskies to mark the 50th anniversary of the distillery’s maiden production run in 1968. The GlenAllachie’s first core range was unveiled in July, followed by a batch of single casks in November and the launch of MacNair’s Lum Reek, a blended malt Scotch whisky.

In May 2019, the distillery unveiled its visitor centre and shop, opening the distillery up for tours for the first time in over 50 years. In July, the distillery revealed its first Wood Finish range, which comprises three expressions. The following month, the distillery also added a 15-year-old single malt to its multi award-winning core range.