A unique barrel management philosophy.
Ganelalchi Distillery (photo: screenshot)
Under the radar, the products of one of the pioneering distilleries in the world of single malt Scotch and one of the most talked about in recent years have been sold in Israel for several years, please get to know: Glenalchi.
It is a combination between the hidden potential of a quality distillery and a large stock of aging barrels, and one of the whiskey geniuses of the last decades.
In the past, Glenalchi was a 'Nofam' distillery owned by the giant Perno Ricard beverage corporation, which mainly produced single malt and fine whiskey for the group's blends.
It is not an old distillery but one that was established in 1967 during a boom in blended whiskey sales, to support the concern's standard blends but not to bottle whiskey under its name.
Billy Walker, serial whiskey entrepreneur
Billy Walker is a household name in the world whiskey industry.
He is known not only for everything related to production and the perception of the world, but also as a genius businessman and a kind of talent hunter who knows how to turn distilleries that have not made their mark, into particularly hot names.
I happened to meet him in Scotland about 25 years ago, when he was the owner of two whiskey distilleries that were not very well known at the time: Maidston and Tobermory (Lechaig).
Alongside their single malts, he also produced a successful blended whiskey called 'Scottish Leader'.
Afterwards, Walker sold the company he had founded and consolidated a pair of negligible distilleries that were practically inactive at the time: Glendronach and Benriach.
He made them a great success, and sold them to the giant corporation Brown Forman, which also owns a small American whiskey brand called Jack Daniels.
Then, in 2017 Billy Walker recognizes the potential of the Glenlachy Distillery and its fine and excellent distillate.
He decides to purchase it for the entire stock of 50,000 barrels aging in it, and start implementing his unique aging and barrel management philosophy.
On the way to absolute perfection.
Distillation boilers at Alachi Distillery (photo: screenshot)
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Looking for absolute perfection
What makes Glenalchy's single malt whiskey special?
First of all, the long fermentation of the hush (barley malt liquor), which reaches 160 hours, almost twice as much as most of the neighboring distilleries in Speyside, in order to use up more of the flavors of the grains and the enzymes in the plant.
Then after the distillation, comes the turn of the art of aging in barrels.
Glenalchy's Core Range series is characterized by a unique aging process.
It starts on a smooth page: four to five years of aging in first-fill Barban barrels, continuing for another four to five years in new American wood barrels that add powerful flavors.
From there it continues for a short aging in Marijuana wine barrels that add flavor, and ends with the magic touch: long aging in Sherry Oloros and Pedro Jimenez barrels.
"We're not looking for absolute consistency, we're looking for absolute perfection," says the distillery manager.
They are not looking for quantities either.
Glenalchi currently has a production capacity of approximately 4,000,000 liters of whiskey per year.
Despite this, in practice only about 600,000-700,000 liters are produced per year.
This shows that it prefers to concentrate on quality over profitability, which explains the price tag of the distillate and its rich taste.
Billy Walker believes that there is always another destination to reach and therefore you should not take your foot off the gas.
Even after turning seventy, he doesn't stop working and comes to the distillery every day to check that everything is going properly.
A unique aging track.
Glenalchi Distillery (photo: screenshot)
What should you look for right now:
There are some excellent options that are sold regularly in Israel and some other limited editions.
This is exactly the time to invest in such a bottle because on Purim it is commanded to rejoice.
Especially when it's less happy outside.
Glenalchi 12 years
Perhaps the flagship of the distillery's core series!
A simply excellent whiskey that is first aged in ex-Barban casks and then moves to a new American cask for a little more strength and power and then finishes in Spanish sherry casks.
The whiskey emphasizes aromas and flavors of hot seasoning with dried fruits along with a little honey and citrus peel.
Excellent and balanced.
NIS 299.90, for club members and new members.
Glenalchi 15 years
The deeper version of 'Glenalchi 12 years'.
This time the core flavors are joined by the flavors of dark chocolate, more of candied orange peel, mocha and a lot of fascinating seasoning that doesn't end in the long finish.
Whiskey to pamper yourself with.
NIS 379.90, for club members and new members.
Pamper yourself with him, 15 Glenalchi (Photo: Public Relations)
Glenalchi 10 years, batch 6
A special edition, the result of a combination between large barrels of two types of sherry: the heavy and sweet Pedro Jimenez and the creamy and slightly sour Oloroso, with Rioja wine barrels and a little new wood.
A very powerful whiskey with lots of spice, some black tea, herbs and a great, clean sweetness.
NIS 389.90, for club members and new members.
Glenalchi 13 year old, Rioja barrels
A superb limited edition whiskey aged mainly in powerful red wine casks from the Rioja region, Spain.
Everything that the fruit gave to the wine returns to the whiskey: red fruits together with raisins and even something nutty, spicy and herbal.
NIS 399.90, for club members and new members.
Fascinating whiskey, Glenalchi 13 years old, Rioja barrels (Photo: YHOT)
Glenalchi 11 years
A very interesting result of aging in Gretamco barrels, a wine from the Bulgarian region of Tuscany.
This is a whiskey aged in ex-Barban barrels, finished in the unique wine barrels, and offers delicate flavors and aromas of caramel, vanilla, ripe yellow fruits and warm and pleasant spices.
NIS 449.90, for club members and new members.
That's it, you have time to run to the store and choose a bottle for the upcoming holiday, or simply put a down payment and buy them all.
Tal Hutiner, in collaboration with Bana