The third and final instalment of Billy Walker’s 50th Anniversary Trilogy is almost upon us! Glenallachie Future Edition concludes the series celebrating owner and Master Distiller Billy Walker’s half century in the whisky business with a bang, and is a big departure from the previous editions Glenallachie Past and Glenallachie Present.
While both the Past and Present bottlings were 16 years old, Glenallachie Future Edition is a 4-year-old; and while the two previous editions were either full sherry-matured or a mix of sherry and Mizunara oak, Glenallachie Future Edition was matured predominantly in ex-bourbon and rye whiskey casks, with a small amount of virgin oak.
Why the differences? Well, Glenallachie Future Edition really lives up to its name - this whisky is a peated Glenallachie 4-year-old and it’s the harbinger of a new range of peated malt whiskies that will be coming along from Glenallachie at some point in the future - and before you ask, no we don’t have any more details on what that range will look like or when it will arrive.
Realistically, we’d expect it to be a while yet before we see the peated Glenallachie in the distillery's core range - probably next year at the earliest - but it’s exciting that the team at Glenallachie reckon their peated single malt is already good enough for a release this important.
As background, Billy Walker has been distilling peated spirit at Glenallachie since soon after he took over the distillery in 2017, but this is the first peated Glenallachie he’s released - and it’s also the very first Glenallachie release that’s made up entirely of spirit distilled at Glenallachie under his stewardship.
The existence of this peated Glenallachie has been known, if not widely discussed, for some time - according to Ingvar Ronde’s Malt Whisky Yearbook, Glenallachie produces around 100,000 litres of peated spirit per annum out of a total production of 700,000 litres at the distillery. This peated Glenallachie is no wallflower, either - Ronde reports that this is a very heavily-peated spirit, with an 80ppm phenol specification - not up to silly levels a la Octomore, but pretty much double the likes of Kilchoman, Ardbeg or Laphroaig.
This peated Glenallachie has also been officially mentioned in passing over the last year in other Glenallachie releases, with casks of the peated spirit being used to finish both a single cask Glenallachie 2012 released earlier this year and, more unusually, the Peated Panama and Peated Jamaican rums blended by Mr Walker for MacNair’s Boutique Spirits, Glenallachie’s non-whisky range.
Getting back to the matter in hand, Glenallachie Future Edition has been made using barley smoked with Speyside peat, is a limited edition of 10,000 bottles at a cask strength of 60.2% and will be live on the site very soon, so keep an eye on our Facebook and Insta pages, and make sure you're signed up to our newsletter for more information! In the meantime we’ll leave you with the official tasting notes below:
Nose: Bursting with toasted honeycomb, dried fruits and hazelnut, with hints of smouldering oak, dark chocolate and warm cinnamon apples.
Taste: Lashings of cinnamon stewed pears, toasted almonds, heather honey and pipe tobacco, followed by smoked barley, vanilla toffee and orchard fruits.