With more than 50 awards in three years, and a Master Distiller with almost 50 years’ experience at the helm, The GlenAllachie Distillers Company is well known for its excellent single and blended malt whiskies. GlenAllachie is now launching its first-ever Blended Scotch Whisky: the limited release White Heather 21 Year Old. With only 2,000 bottles available worldwide, and a particularly high single malt content, White Heather 21-year-old is a premium small batch blend, crafted by industry icon, Billy Walker.
White Heather sees Billy Walker call upon his first years in the whisky industry as a blender while taking inspiration from a whisky brand which was discontinued in the 1980s as the industry consolidated. White Heather was acquired by The GlenAllachie Distillers Company, led by Walker, in 2017, along with The GlenAllachie Distillery and MacNair’s Lum Reek Blended Malt brand.
Walker has put his own spin on White Heather, elevating the favour profile with skilful wood management and a watchful eye on the maturation process. To create this rare and luxurious small batch blend, Walker first sourced some of the finest single malt and grain whiskies from the Highlands, Islay and Speyside. The whiskies spent 18 years maturing in a combination of first fill American barrels, sherry butts and second-fill barrels and hogsheads.
In the GlenAllachie Distillery lab, Walker then crafted a unique recipe with a high single malt content, including vintage GlenAllachie. The blend was then laid down for an additional maturation period, highlighting Walker’s wood management skills; spending three years in a carefully selected mix of Pedro Ximénez puncheons, Oloroso puncheons and Appalachian Virgin Oak casks to let the flavours marry together and take on additional layers of depth and complexity from the wood.
The resulting whisky, which is presented at 48% ABV with no added colouring or chill-filtration, balances gentle peat from the Islay contribution, archetypal Speyside fruity notes, the heather honeyed sweetness of the Highlands, and a rich and rounded foundation from the grain components.
White Heather 21 year old official tasting notes
- Colour: Natural Gold-Bronze.
- Nose: Beautifully soft background with heather honey, butterscotch, peat reek and hints of tannins.
- Palate: Rich notes of heather honey, butterscotch, orange peel, and soft tannins, with a wonderful presence of peat and smoke.
Commenting on the landmark release, Billy Walker said: “This whisky is particularly close to my heart. Creating this blend took me back almost 50 years to when I started my career at Hiram Walker. It was there I started to learn the art of blending and the specialist skills required to select whiskies that when interfaced with each other ultimately amplified the overall flavour experience.
“With White Heather, I poured everything I’ve learned on my whisky journey into crafting a truly memorable small batch aged blend that sits proudly alongside even the very best single malts. I wanted to honour the original blend whilst recreating it in a much more premium form with exceptional wood. It’s a fine balance bringing together the character of such different whiskies and cask types, but I’m incredibly proud to now unveil the end result.”
White Heather is being unveiled in the same week that The GlenAllachie’s Master Distiller Billy Walker is inducted into Whisky Magazine’s prestigious Hall of Fame. In 2022, Walker will celebrate a remarkable 50 years in the whisky industry.