The GlenAllachie Distillery recently announced the penultimate bottling its Past, Present & Future Series, this one a rare Japanese cask finished single malt Scotch.
They’re calling it The GlenAllachie Billy Walker 50th Anniversary Present Edition 16-year-old Mizunara Virgin Oak Cask Finish.
The Past, Present & Future Series launched in May, and the whisky range honors Whisky Master Billy Walker’s half-century-long career in the Scotch whisky industry. Each release symbolizes what’s described as a key milestone for the longtime whisky blender.
A statement from GlenAllachie notes that the Present Edition just revealed is a Mizunara Virgin Oak Cask Finish, Walker’s first use of the unique oak species, and it represents the wood policy he’s currently implementing at The GlenAllachie Distillery.
With a focus on experimenting with interesting and rare casks from small-scale, premium producers, the Speyside distillery’s annual cask budget for 2022 stands at $2.6M USD.
This 16-year-old whisky first matured in Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso Sherry wood before being transferred into the rare Mizunara virgin oak casks with a medium level of toasting and charring.
Mizunara is a scarce species of Japanese oak hardly used in whisky production due to its expense and the many challenges it poses to production.
The statement from GlenAllachie went on to explain that Mizunara oak tends to twist as it grows, which creates issues for stave production. And its porous nature, which on one hand is beneficial allowing for greater interaction between whisky and wood, makes it more inclined to leak during maturation.
Additionally, the Mizunara trees must grow to be around 200 years old before being felled, twice the age of most oaks used for casks.
With its two-step maturation journey, the GlenAllachie 16-year Mizunara finished whisky comes out a chestnut-hued single malt that features notes of dark chocolate fondant, forest fruits, stem ginger and coconut shavings.
The release is limited to 2,900 bottles globally, each clocking in at 48% ABV, without added coloring or chill filtration.
Billy Walker, who was inducted into Whisky Magazine’s Hall of Fame last year, has spearheaded The GlenAllachie Distillery since 2017. In that time, the distillery garnered awards including the title of World’s Best Single Malt (World Whiskies Awards, 2021).
“As a master distiller, I’m regularly asked what proportion of the flavor profile of a whisky I attribute to the wood, to which I answer at least 70 percent,” Walker explained. “As a chemist, I find supervising the flavor development of our whisky as it interfaces with interesting cask types truly fascinating. One thing I’ve absolutely learned in the last 50 years is that there are no shortcuts to achieving quality.”
The Present Edition joins the first release in the range, The Past Edition, a 16-year-old 100% Sherry matured single malt Scotch whisky released in May of this year.
The GlenAllachie Billy Walker 50th Anniversary Present Edition can be purchased through global specialist retailers with a UK suggested retail price of £280.
For more information on this whisky or the range, check out www.theglenallachie.com.
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