The GlenAllachie Distillery launches new visitor centre, shop and special bottling for the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival.
The GlenAllachie Distillery is celebrating this year’s Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival by launching its new visitor centre and shop, unveiling some exclusive releases and staging three events.
Fresh from winning several awards at the 2019 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, the move comes as this hidden gem of a distillery in Aberlour, Speyside begins offering visitors tours for the first time in over 50 years.
Under previous owners Pernod Ricard, The GlenAllachie Distillery was predominantly used for blending and closed to the public. Having been acquired in 2017 by Billy Walker and The GlenAllachie Distillers Company, it is now available as a single malt and its gates are now open to visitors.
The new visitor centre includes a shop offering a range of branded merchandise, plus two single cask whiskies exclusive to the shop: a 12 year old and 29 year old, both hand-selected by Billy. The shop also offers visitors the chance to hand-fill their own bottle straight from a cask.
The 12 year old distillery exclusive, which is £95, was matured in a Bourbon barrel and Walker describes it as tasting of ‘honey, apricots and mocha, with hints of mint’. The 29 year old, which is £350, was matured in a Hogshead and Walker handpicked it for its taste of ‘toffee apples, mocha, pineapples and dark chocolate’.
Billy said: ‘The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival is a highlight of the year with whisky fans from all the over the world flocking to the region. For many, this will be the first chance they’ve had to visit our distillery, visitor centre and shop and sample our single malt.
‘I wanted to make the best possible first impression so I’ve personally selected two casks, which I believe provide wonderful examples of the type of single malt whisky we’re producing here.’
Visitors can now choose from two tour options; the Wee Allachie, a 1-hour tour around the production area culminating with a sampling of three drams; and The Connoisseurs Tour, a 2-hour access-all-areas experience which includes a visit to a warehouse and the tasting room for a 5-dram tutored tasting.
The new visitor centre will be managed by Karen McWilliam who has extensive experience, having previously worked with GlenDronach distillery.
Karen said: ‘This is a historic and exciting time for everyone here at GlenAllachie as we start to welcome people to our new visitor centre and to take a tour of the distillery for the first time in over 50 years.
‘For a long time, the distillery has been one of Speyside’s best-kept secrets, but now we’re creating our own history with our single malts and the gates are open to everyone.’
The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival takes place across the region until 6 May. As a Silver Partner, The GlenAllachie Distillery is staging three special events and releasing a single cask exclusive to the Spirit of Speyside Festival.
The events include an intimate Blending Masterclass with GlenAllachie’s Master Distiller and whisky industry icon Billy Walker, during which participants will make their own 500ml bottle of blended whisky; a Behind-the-Scenes Tasting Tour of the distillery, including visits to a warehouse and Walker’s tasting lab; and a Meet & Greet with Walker.
Detailed information about each event and tickets are available on the Festival’s website at https://www.spiritofspeyside.com/events/
The GlenAllachie Spirit of Speyside bottling, which is £95, is a 13 year old malt matured in a Port pipe. Walker describes it as ‘brimming with heather honey, damsons, nutmeg and cinnamon with hints of mocha and rose hips.’