By Richard Thomas
French drinks giant Pernod Ricard, parent company of Chivas Brothers, announced yesterday they had agreed to sell the Glenallachie Distillery to the trio of Billy Walker, Graham Stevenson and Trisha Savage, comprising The Glenallachie Consortium. The deal also included the Glenallachie single malt, MacNair’s blended and White Heather blended whiskey brands, as well as the necessary inventory of whisky stocks to maintain said brands.
Billy Walker, 71, is a name familiar to Scotch whisky observers and enthusiasts, and a longtime industry veteran. After working with Ballentines, Inver House Distillers and Burn Stewart, Walker went on to become an instrumental figure in the revival of BenRiach (including GlenDronach and Glengassaugh), which was acquired by Brown-Forman last year.
Trisha Savage has over 30 years in the Scotch business. After having worked closely with Walker at Burn Stewart, she later joined the BenRiach project. Graham Stevenson is a Chartered Accountant with almost 30 years experience in the Scotch industry, 23 of them at Inver House Distillers and most of that time as Managing Director.
Glenallachie Distillery is located in Aberlour. Built in 1967, it’s one of the newer distilleries in Scotland and heretofore has been used principally to produce whisky for blends. The two pairs of stills are said to be capable of producing 3.2m liters per year.