Glenallachie distillery was built in Aberlour, Speyside by blending firm MacKinlay-McPherson. It would eventually come under the ownership of Chivas Brothers, which would in turn come to be owned by Pernod Ricard. That was until news broke in July 2017 of the distilleries sale to Billy Walker, the man behind the revival of BenRiach and it’s sister distilleries GlenDronach and Glenglassaugh. It will be very interesting to see what the future now holds for this distillery, known mostly as a blend provider rather than a single malt bottler.
Glenallachie was part of a 1960’s industry boom and was designed by one William Delme-Evans. Delme-Evans was born in Wales in 1902 and became fascinated with the production of whisky during regular childhood holidays to Scotland. Tuberculosis prevented him serving in the war and hindered any attempt at manual work but left him with plenty of time to make plans. In 1947 The Welshman purchased a former brewery in Perthshire and set about converting it into a distillery. Tullibardine was opened in 1949 and sold on in 1953 for a profit. William would not stay out of the industry for long however…
In 1960 two landowners on Jura, seeking to bring whisky production back to the island approached Delme-Evans to design their distillery. Not only did he oversee the building of the project but he went on to serve as it’s manager until he retired in 1975. During that time however, he was employed by MacKinlay-McPherson to design another new distillery, this time in Speyside. He chose a sight at Aberlour, arranged to have water piped from nearby Ben Rinnes and set about building what would become Glenallachie in 1967. William Delme-Evans passed away in 2003 but it is without any doubt that he left behind a significant mark on the modern whisky landscape.
Just prior to the distilleries sale to Billy Walker, a ‘distillery edition’ single malt bottling appeared on retailers shelves priced at around £30. It seems likely that we will see further bottlings under new management but in the meantime, perhaps the best way to sample the spirit from Glenallachie is to look towards independent bottlers.
This particular expression is 8 years old and was bottled by North Star Spirits at a wonderful cask strength of 58.3%.
Smell: Toffee, Orange, Berries and Raisins with a touch of Aromatic Spice.
Taste: Cinnamon and Chilli Powder, Orange, Dark Chocolate and Sherry.
Value for Money: A good value, characterful dram that packs a punch for £50 is not to be sniffed at.
A big rich, spicy dram that really needs a drop of water to truly shine, but when it finds it’s feet it becomes a very satisfying mouthful. North Star just go from strength to strength. This second run of bottlings easily matches, if not surpasses the first and one can only wonder what treasures will come in future. Look out for them, because great things are happening.
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