Whisky Icon Billy Walker Marks 50 Years In Scotch With Celebratory Series

| June 1, 2022

In 2022, iconic whisky maker Billy Walker celebrates 50 years in the Scotch whisky industry. And he will do so introducing a limited edition series of GlenAllachie Single Malts.

Known for his role as master distiller at The GlenAllachie Distillers Company, Walker has spent the past five decades creating what’s described as some of the world’s most coveted whiskies, garnering the title of World’s Best Single Malt at the World Whiskies Awards 2021.

This year will also see Walker release a celebratory trilogy of Speyside Single Malts; The GlenAllachie Past, Present and Future Series. The whiskies each represent key milestones throughout Walker’s career.

The GlenAllachie Billy Walker 50th Anniversary Past Edition

The GlenAllachie Billy Walker 50th Anniversary Past Edition (image via The GlenAllachie)

The first installment, The GlenAllachie Billy Walker 50th Anniversary Past Edition, is a fully Sherry matured 16-year-old Single Malt (UK suggested retail price of £225).

This bottling represents Walker’s past when he began to release heavily Sherried expressions to the market.

Combining nine 2005 vintage Spanish Sherry butts personally selected by Walker, the resulting liquid features what’s said to be layers of dark chocolate and glazed fig, alongside a banana bread and espresso coffee character.

The limited edition features 4,000 bottles presented at a cask strength of 57.1% ABV.

Walker, who is a qualified chemist, has been at the helm of The GlenAllachie for almost five years, having previously led an expansive career across numerous household name brands and companies. His experience spans iconic names in Scotch including Ballantine’s, Deanston, Tobermory, BenRiach, GlenDronach, Glenglassaugh and The GlenAllachie.

Some of Walker’s most recent accolades include:

  • World’s Best Single Malt (World Whiskies Awards, 2021)
  • Best Blended Malt Scotch (San Francisco World Spirits Competition, 2021)
  • World’s Best Blended Malt (World Whiskies Awards, 2020)
  • Master Distiller/Blender of the Year (Icons of Whisky, 2020)
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In addition, Walker was inducted into Whisky Magazine’s Hall of Fame last year, a permanent tribute to his contribution to the world of whisky.

Business partner Trisha Savage, who has worked beside Walker for the majority of his career, said, “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.”

In a prepared statement, Walker said that he’s been “incredibly lucky” to have been involved in the Scotch whisky industry for 50 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,” he 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. 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.”

The distiller’s notes for The GlenAllachie 50th Anniversary Past Edition show the color of the liquid to be a deep mahogany, and on the nose are aromas of walnuts, heather honey and subtle dried fruits, followed by bursts of toasted coffee, orange peel and cinnamon sticks.

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On the palate, the whisky tastes of fig syrup, caramelized muscovado sugar and roasted pine nuts with notes of heather honey, crystalized ginger and dried apricots.

The GlenAllachie Billy Walker 50th Anniversary Past Edition is now available to purchase through global specialist retailers with a UK suggested retail price of £225.

For more information on Walker or the whisky, check out www.theglenallachie.com.

Drinks

Gary Carter

Gary Carter has been at the helm of metro newspapers, magazines, and television news programs as well as a radio host and marketing manager. He is a writer/editor/photographer/designer by trade, with more than 30 years experience in the publishing and marketing field. Gary enjoys working to build something great, whether...