Ep. 94 - A Visit With Legendary a 50 Year Master Distiller and Blender

BILLY WALKER // Glenallachie Distillery

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Show Notes

The first time I traveled to Scotland, I was in Aberlour talking with a bartender about the best whiskies to try. He asked what my favorites were. When I said GlenDronach, he said "ahhh Billy Walker." Since that moment, I've been wanting to learn more about this man and what he is doing at Glenallachie. I was also surprised to hear he dipped into the Irish market.

We're going to talk about his lifetime in the business and dig into some of where his knowledge of blending came from and what he plans next for his current distillery home.

Listen to the full episode with the player above or find it on Spotify, Apple or your favorite podcast app under "Whiskey Lore: The Interviews." The full transcript and resources talked about in this episode are available on the tab(s) above.

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Drew (00:09):
Welcome to Whiskey Lore, the interviews. I'm your host, drew Hannush, the Amazon best-selling author of Whiskey Lores Travel Guide to Experiencing Irish Whiskey and Experiencing Kentucky Bourbon. And today I am very pleased to have along with me as my special guest, a 50 year master blunder. Master distiller who has a wealth of experience including working for Hirum Walker, Inver House Burn Stewart. He did work at Burn Stewart with Deanston and some other brands as well. Glendronach, Glenglassaugh, Benriach, and is now at Glenallachie working his magic with Sherry Barrels, which is what I love in terms of his work, but he is also doing some very creative experiments with different types of wood and we're going to talk a little bit about that as well as his time period in the industry and all these great distilleries that he worked for and what he's doing now with Glen Alki. It's time to chat with Billy Walker. Welcome to the show, Billy.

Billy Walker (01:15):
Thanks for the invitation. Glad to be here.

Drew (01:18):
It almost takes as long to talk about your credits as it does to do whole podcast

Billy Walker (01:23):
Soul history.

Drew (01:24):
Yes, yes. I wanted to kind of get into a little bit of your history and talk about what you've seen in terms of changes through the years and so you started out at Hirum Walker many years back. What first got you into the whiskey industry? I

Billy Walker (01:46):
Studied chemistry at the University of Glasgow, so I had a decent background in terms of where I wanted to be in the whiskey industry, but essentially I grew up in the town of Dunbarton, which for all its weaknesses had many merits and it was the unquestionably the spiritual home of Harron Walker in relation to scotch whiskey. It was a very big part of the town and while it was a major player, it was not the only whiskey company in Dunbarton. J b also had the Boston plant in the town, and there were other small companies like Newton Bond and the Gavigans, which essentially Dunbarton was a whiskey town and really in these days quite an important whiskey town.

Drew (02:39):
And so this is a Canadian company and family owned, I guess still at that particular time.

Billy Walker (02:47):
Canadian company, yes. I'm not sure if they were still family one if they were a very, very big company to be family owned, but they had an incredible international region these days. Not just of course in with Canadian whiskey, but with scotch whiskey generally. I mean, Valentine's was a very, very good blended whiskey and had a huge presence in Asia, e E even in these days.

Drew (03:17):
Did you feel, what was your anticipation about what it was going to be like working in the whiskey industry at that time? The

Billy Walker (03:24):
Industry wasn't a different place then. And as you alluded to, there probably was Hand worker was still a family company, but there was much less consolidation in those days. There was a lot, many more privately owned companies, which created in general created a different environment than exists today. Not necessarily a better one or a wash one, just a different one.

Drew (03:53):
Now, this was a time period where single malt really wasn't something that people went out of their way to get. It was much more of a, I mean, right now I'm doing research into bourbon history, and this was the time period when they were doing what was called light whiskey, which was basically vodka aged and used cooperage and that was their way of trying to compete with the vodka industry. Were you seeing things in Scotland at that time that were similar, that there was this move towards trying to really lighten up whiskey as much as you could?

Billy Walker (04:25):
No, that wasn't my experience with Highland Walker and these days the industry was essentially owned by the bigger companies, Harlem Walker, and I think it was dcl was the then name of Dijo. William Grants was family company playing a big role. SHIs existed under the ownership of the American company, and these were big players and these were the brands that matter in terms of blended whiskey, single malt as a category in the sector. Sheira was strong and it was dominated by Glen Fedrick and Glen Litt and Glenn Monk. They were big players in that area, but as a sector in the category, it had not been given the freedom or indeed was a demand for each of these individual mal disorders to express themselves or to be allowed to express themselves. And that's one of the great mysteries that have unraveled thankfully over my period of working in this industry where single malt has become such a significant and important player in the world of whiskey.

Drew (05:50):
Well, and it's interesting that you would have started during this time period. I look back to somebody like Alfred when he got into making movies, he started in the silent era and that really spoke to where his talents went visually as he progressed. And you starting out in an era where blends were the most of the industry and now we've moved into the world of single malts, how do you think all of that has kind of assisted you in taking a different approach to what you're doing with these distilleries?

Billy Walker (06:26):
It's a really good question, and there are so many factors at play in this, and you have to accept that 50 years ago, the world generally as available markets were very different in these days. First of all, we weren't in the European Union. Indeed, if the European Union existed, the Soviet countries were difficult to enter, very difficult to enter, if not impossible. And in the far, the big player was Japan and a big player and a very exciting economy you likes of South Korea, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan, indeed, all of these countries really didn't present opportunities in these days. And if you compare that today, it's amazing just how the world has become such a vibrant and relatively easy reach in terms of where scotch whiskey yesterday.

Drew (07:38):
So as you saw those markets coming on board, the Japanese market, were they also very heavily into blended whiskeys or because I know they always tried to emulate what was going on in the scotch world.

Billy Walker (07:52):
Listen, in the early days of my presence in the industry, whiskey on Quest was the player in Japan, and the big brands were Valentine's and Johnny Walker and some of the other hags. Black and White was a big brand in Japan. Yeah, so why did Whiskey Wars had an enormous presence in Asia and indeed internationally, and the truth is still continues to be a huge part of the whole scotch Whiskeys experience in these markets.

Drew (08:28):
When you were at Hirum Walker, did you have any particular brands that you were appreciative of that they were more in, that you kind of held onto the Me even after you left

Billy Walker (08:39):
Yeahinteresting Story b Valentine's, the great brand and surprisingly was little sold in the United Kingdom. They focused very much on the export markets, but we also had another brand called Ambassador, which was essentially targeting the Canadian market. I'm not sure if it exists today, but it was a big success and a very, very good brand. And listen, in these days there were a lot of good blenders because the challenge was on, couldn't allow the standards to slip further. There was a very informed blended market out there and there were no mistakes or not allowed.

Drew (09:20):
So when did you actually get hands on in terms of blending? Was it at Hi Walker or was that at House

Billy Walker (09:27):
Hiam Walker was more about an overall holistic understanding of what was going on in the industry, the process, we actually did our own yeast buing, so yeas, yeast, manufacturer, fermentation generally both in terms of grain whiskey and mal whiskey. We produced the two low and malts here, invert Leaf and Mos here in and Lomond. So got to learn a lot, learned a lot at the feet of a great blender. Jack gaudy, maybe one of the great blenders, very, very understated individual, were operated under the radar, fantastic blender. But when I joined Enver house, I was given enormous freedom to experiment and indeed drill really deeply into the opportunities that could exist. Again, house was an American company owned by Publica based in Philadelphia, and they gave enormous freedom to the individuals to go and express their talents. And on the side we had Graham Heath Glen and we, Glen Flagler and a few derivatives of Glen Flagler, like Glen Mavis, Kelly Locke. So a lot of interesting things were being made there, and frankly they were a company that gave me a huge freedom to go and express how I wanted to take a lot of things forward.

Drew (11:08):
Very nice. So you were kind of known now as the man who works with those sherry casks and really gets a lot of great flavors out of those sherry casks. Was this something that you were paying attention to back then, or was that going to come along later on? Well,

Billy Walker (11:26):
I think we were paying attention to the influence of wood and the various categories of wood that could deliver for you. I don't think I would say with hand on my heart that in Inver House necessarily saw great merit in Sherry Cas that came later, but Inver house for Aade company and they had some wonderfully exciting people working with them where during the five, six years I was here.

Drew (12:04):
And then when you went on to be Stewart, you actually, how involved were you with the startup of Deanston, an incredible distillery and just a fun place to visit and hear the story of?

Billy Walker (12:18):
Well, in fact, Deanston was an interesting story. It was owned then by Inva Gordon Distillers when we acquired it. And at that time, inva Garden had a number of the SOS that were moth bald. SSON was one of them. Tul Bardon was another one. So when we acquired Deanston, it was moth bald and it acquired a huge amount of tender care to rehabilitate it and did to get the distill going again. It, yeah, it needed a lot of tender care and we spent a lot of time understanding the just a general wellbeing o of the site and how best we wanted to represent its personality and d n a from the distillation stage through to the quality of wood that we could see would be the right platform to allow the kind of final product we were looking for to express itself.

Drew (13:27):
Do these distilleries speak to you then, or do you try to push 'em in a direction?

Billy Walker (13:33):
I think we definitely push 'em in a direction, but when you're inheriting an off ball distillery and it had been closed for quite some time, you're given a certain freedom to express where you want to be. Either you can determine the heart of the cut that you want to take, you can determine how long the fermentations are going to be, and importantly, you can determine the kind of spectrum of casks that you want to engage with to create the right platform to get the final DNA that you're looking for.

Drew (14:12):
And so you are still kind of working in the world of blends at that time then. So it's probably not as critical to the single malt experience that you can still have some younger whiskeys in there and do a blend and be able to pull something in the direction that you want to pull it in.

Billy Walker (14:31):
That's a really good question. And the reality is that the real skill in blending is still in blended whiskey, and that's about creating the formula that you use the right grain whiskeys in such a way that they don't overpower the whiskeys you want to include in the plane, but allow them to express their freedoms. So it exists as a platform that's supportive, but shouldn't be, it shouldn't be overwhelming in terms of masking the real beauty of the single moths that are included in the blend.

Drew (15:16):
It's a really interesting question about mothball distilleries. My first experience with hearing about mothball distilleries was when I bought a bottle of Glenro 15, and I was told it's probably closer to a 18 year whiskey than it is a 15 year whiskey. Because if you do the math, you see that the distillery was mothballed for a certain period of time. What are the considerations? I mean, how do you get over the hump of having this big blank space in the middle of your inventory?

Billy Walker (15:50):
I think the answer to that is with some difficulty, but you have to reflect on why these distilleries were indeed closed on multiple for whatever period. It is interesting. Just retracing our steps that Hy Walker owned Glenro for a period of time when they acquired the William Teachers Group. So I was quite familiar with Glenro, but you Glenro was not the only distill that had been mothball when we acquired Ben, it also had been mothball and indeed at the point of acquiring Ben, which was in 2004, there would've been something like 18 distill that were either in a kind of closed down status or a mothball status. And that kind of tells you how significant the change has been in the understanding and the success of single malt. If you compare where we are today and where we were around about the beginning of 2000, the wealth has changed so significantly in the case of Ben had been closed for six years, and of course we had to find a way of smoothing the hump and yeah, we did. And there was a bit of over aging going on as we developed a brand. It was important that we kind of brought particular age points to the market and in doing so, we did a bit of over aging, but wasn't unusual in these days for age brands to be significantly.

Drew (17:45):
And so re-asking a lot of things, were they using bourbon bourbon barrels at some point in there or was it already being aged in sherry barrels?

Billy Walker (17:57):
Oh, it was a mix. There was a significant number of casks in Sherry casks. William teacher, the original owner of Wind, were a great proponent of the use of cherry casks and maybe one of the first companies in the market to recognize the additionality. And indeed the difference is that these casks could bring to the final product.

Drew (18:26):
What I find interesting too is your mixing of PX and oso sherry casks because to me, I sometimes hear the complaint that PX is a little too sweet and sometimes the oso is a little bit darker for some tastes, and here you've found a marriage in between. Was that something that you kind of devised on your own or were you inspired by somebody on that?

Billy Walker (18:50):
I think there was a lot of trial and error, but it is bringing a lot of experience to the table and understanding the nature of the base spirit. Fairly muscular spirit can handle the big rich casks and certainly came into that category. It was a fairly muscular highland, highland whiskey, and that gave you the opportunity to do a lot of the exciting things that we wanted to do with the brand.

Drew (19:25):
I have heard this many times that when you ended up selling the three or when the three W went away, Glen Glasso was the one that was probably the hardest one for you to let go of. And I love that whiskey. I laugh at the story that it kept getting mothballed because they were making too good a whiskey in there. It was too heavy bodied and it was hard to blend with. Did you blend with it prior to, was that involved in any company that you owned at any point and what was it that made you love that distillery?

Billy Walker (20:01):
It wasn't so much its ability to use in lens. It was our experience with, well afterwards, more about the creative work we did when we acquired the distillery and much of which will eventually come to the market. And my biggest disappointment was we didn't actually have ownership long enough to be part of the experience when some of these great casks eventually appear in the marketplace. And there are many great casks and that distill as time will come.

Drew (20:40):
Are they your babies when you work on these? Because it's really interesting to see that you're at a place just long enough to get things going in a direction and then you leave there and you're kind of starting over again on some new tasks. Do you get attached to some of those tasks?

Billy Walker (20:58):
I think you get attached to the experience and the kind of philosophy that you want to to build into the brand. We did a lot of work atlas, a lot of very, very mean, significant amount of racking into different cells of casks. We had a relationship with winery in Crimea, which was the previously had been the favorite winery of the Russian royalty. And we got some really, really fantastic She castle, these guys, Sherry in parenthesis, it was the Russian alternative to Sherry. The casts were brilliant. The Oakwood genius was Russian Oak, which by the way is gives a wonderful platform for the casks. Very, very thick, thick staves. And I don't think I've been introduced to the, but when it is, it'll be beautiful.

Drew (22:06):
Very nice. One of the ones that I saw, I was in Edinburgh and I had stopped into a pub and they had one of your G Glen whiskeys there that I thought was absolutely fascinating because I'd never heard of this type of cask being used before, but it was an xry cask from Coval. It was an eight year single malt and it was amazing. What got you interested in working with Ry casks? I think

Billy Walker (22:36):
We're more interested in working with Koal to be f to be frank. We also got some Koal bourbon cask as well as Ray cast. The fascination for Ry was that historically we are actually quite a conservative group of people within the scotch whiskey industry. And of course by definition, within the finance Act, we are restricted in many ways to, we are restricted to what we can actually do. Using casks had was, yeah, it was unusual, but my fascination was that it was going to be different and B, I thought it would be spicier. And the casks were, they were relatives. I think they were quite small casks. They weren't, but they were all unconventional American barrels. And so we were fascinated and fascinated just sucked us into let's try it. Were we disappointed? No, absolutely not. Disappointed do we continue to use 'em? Yes, we do continue to use them. And again, in the process of, and we pour over these casks, all casks on an amazingly regular basis. We are looking at a hundred, 200 casts every week. We are assessing exactly where they are in terms of our expectation. We have a Bible and virtually every cast that we own and we can look and see. We had a look at this six months ago, what direction was it going in? So the right casts never disappointed. We probably haven't done enough with them yet, but they work very well.

Drew (24:26):
I have to tell you that you inspired me to do my own little a home blend, which was taking Wild Turkey 1 0 1, which is a high rye bourbon and mixing it with Glenro 12. And it actually was a really nice blend. I would never have thought of those two really working together, but they did a nice job and it was like, oh, and then I got bold and started trying to blend other things and they didn't work out quite so well.

Billy Walker (24:55):
That's load. But at the moment we're using quite a number of James paper rye and they're working out extremely well.

Drew (25:02):
Very nice, very nice. So what got you interested in Glen Alki then once the three were sold?

Billy Walker (25:09):
Well, that's what really got me interested in Glen Alki because the process of selling was painful for me and it was one that I wasn't totally comfortable with. My two partners of African partners had expressed the wish to sell, and I have to say they were excellent partners. So it was appropriate that the will of the majority won a day. But in my own mind, I felt there was still some unfinished business in terms of taking someone, taking an unknown, relatively unknown distiller, operating under the radar, virtually no exposure to the consumer in terms of branding, what an opportunity that's, there is almost no downside to that from a blending point of view. I was very familiar with Chy. It was a good blending whiskey. It was fairly muscular, full boarded and kind of attractive spirit that Kenneth said that could be interesting. Well, when I had a conversation with, we kind of settled again, they said, would you like to buy it? And I said, absolutely. And so we found a way to accommodate both our desires.

Drew (26:38):
Very nice. When you walk into a distillery like that and you see your inventory, are you automatically then going, okay, these tasks we're we're going to likely do this with these and do that with those? Or do you just take a long approach to it and Joe cast by Cask?

Billy Walker (27:04):
I think we had probably decided in our mind that what the DNA of the ultimate Chy products should look like. We for sure, were going to make this a story that was recognized as being one that focused on she ca, but not only shell ca. So we had in our own mind what the kind of medium and long term plans were, how we wanted to express the D of the distill through the various release issues that we would bring to the market. But the first step is to go and really understand what you have in warehouse, what is the quality of the liquid? What castle? In what direction do we want to take them in, how much they want to react, what new rule are we looking at? So that's in the bigger farm. And then we look at some big distillery, it's 4 million liters.

It's way, this is not our expectation, so that's distillery. It's based on conventional fermentation. We want to move away from that. We want lung fermentation. So we registered the soil capacity or our production levels to around 800,000, 900,000 lit liters of alcohol. This allowed us to move to lung fermentation of somewhere around about 140 to 160 hours. It also meant that we didn't need to operate three shifts 24 7. So we had a staff that was kind of essentially seven o'clock to four o'clock, pretty relaxed behind working hours. But the long fermentation was very important too, as and continuously very important. And the kind of new film we're making on the basis of this program is amazing.

Drew (29:09):
It's the more that I learn about distilling and the more that I find with the distilleries that I really like. The fermentation process to me really does take a huge part of that, getting a really nice fruity character into a whiskey. But it's probably harder to do in a distillery that has a lot of accountants around, I would imagine.

Billy Walker (29:35):
Well, thankfully we don't.

And indeed, many of the decisions we make, I'm sure that our financial guru is probably appalled that we are breaking with convention. But look, long fermentation is important for many reasons, but in particular we allow the fermentation to go full term. So it becomes a very benign wash. And we are then allowed to sit and allow any friendly sympathetic bacteria to continue to operate on the broth and bring a degree of additional flavoring to the mix. And by the time we take it to the wash, still it's a much easier liquid to distill and say you were bringing a fermentation at 52 hours, which frankly is still fermenting at 52 hours. So you bring it to the wash still and it's difficult to control and you may get some overlapping into the neck of the still, which absolutely you don't want because then you get the possibility of solid bun on onto the system, which case eventually the swords will decompose and give you flavor, flavor, flavor contribution that is let's say unwelcome.

Drew (30:59):
And once you've got that new make spirit, do you cask into bourbon automatically or are you going straight into first fill or second fill sherry barrels? And what's that process? Would you rather be blending from barrels that stayed the same through their whole life in the same barrel? Or do you like the re-asking?

Billy Walker (31:27):
I think it is a bit of all of that. We will fill into at be, we'll fill sherry cask, we'll fill into American French American barrels, we'll fill into virgin casks of various toing levels, various channeling levels, and we will monitor the development needs. But essentially doing all these gives us various kind of bases to look at for the future and decide how best we are going to take the various releases forward. But putting the spirit into fashion, American barrels at birth doesn't disappoint it, you know, could put them into these casts for 3, 4, 5 years and then reask into a variety of shared casks. An area that we are looking very closely at in terms of the lens of the moment, we're looking at pheno Montreal, we're looking at Anzania. We managed our hands in some casks, which is a very interesting, she all and px, we're looking at pensions, we're looking at buts, we're looking at hog heads. And all of these contribute to the expectation and the delivery that we get when we finally put these into the bottle.

Drew (32:58):
I can't imagine how difficult it is to find the you. You've really inspired a lot of people to start using sherry barrels and now I'm seeing bourbons using sherry barrels and I'm thinking, man, that you're actually almost done yourself a disfavor because now it's probably harder to find these barrels than ever before.

Billy Walker (33:19):
It's certainly more expensive to find them than ever before. One of the great freedoms that you have as a private distill is that you are allowed to express your kind of wildest thoughts in the process of maturation. And we're doing a lot as well as Sherry cast, and we recognize that all of the work we do with Sherry does spill over into other areas. But we're also looking at virgin output in your own North American country. We're looking at Cpin Ozark, which are fascinating flavor contributions, but probably casks that these virgin casks, they need to be managed very carefully. They can overcook a little bit.

Drew (34:13):
It was interesting to see while I was on my travels through Ireland that your name came up while I was over there as well. Apparently you did some digging through some Cooley barrels for Locke Gill Distillery, a 14 year old Irish whiskey. It's like, okay, we don't see that these days too much.

Billy Walker (34:34):
That was quite interesting experience. Beautiful place. Lyle, beautiful place, wonderful location, not sure about the building, but wonderful location for the story. But historically I had done some work for Cooley as well when John Tilling and David Heines were involved. And look, Irish whiskey is different. It has to be handled differently and it requires a different style of with management. But the lads at Sligo, they were excited and exciting. It was a whole new experience for them. Gave them a little bit of help, but boy, these guys were on the road, they knew where they were going.

Drew (35:22):
There's an energy you see. Do you kind of see yourself in your early days in what's going on over there?

Billy Walker (35:32):
Sure. And they're still in the fun stage and maybe also the anxiety stage.

Drew (35:42):
Yeah, no, I was talking to Oliver and he was saying there's this, there's citrus note that I'm getting off the top of this and it, it's like that unknowing of what's going to happen when I put this in the barrel. You are at not coming from any experience with the distillate coming out of a still like that,

Billy Walker (36:02):
But it's one that's a wonderful time in the development of both the story and the brand. You know, have virtually got a blank sheet and an open canvas to make whatever pictures you want to make.

Drew (36:19):
That's great. And I feel that that's what you're doing at Glen Chy right now.

Billy Walker (36:24):
Yeah, look, I think it is an interesting period, the single more we're living in a, we're living at a time when there are single malt to consumers who are absolutely well informed. Their knowledge is incredible and they ask the right questions and they have very, very high expectation. Our take in life is that we know what footprint we occupy, we know who our consumer is. We supply into private independent importers who supply into private independent retailers who engage with consumers who are fascinated and interested in what is happening in the world of single malt. And indeed, when you engage in the right way, of course these consumers, they become ambassadors for you and indeed for the sector. And it's an area the consumer is so important. We're less concerned about the mass market. We have no I great enthusiasm and indeed we have no enthusiasm to be in multiple retailers or travel detail. We want to engage with people who push us.

Drew (37:52):
Yeah, well see. So interesting to me that there's this argument now going on, there was quite a dust up actually when on the Glenro 15 they had dropped their no chill filtering off of it and it cre created little uproar over that. And it feels like that was the first whiskey that I had that I really paid attention to that. And now I actually really enjoy it when I talk to whiskey fans and they're like, is that chill filtered? Is there color in that? That's become a question now, which really has to be heartening to you that people are paying that much attention to their whiskey.

Billy Walker (38:32):
That's great. And also the distiller and the brand owners. I've got to recognize that there are different markets and consumers have a different perception of how things unfold. We won't bottle anything under 46%. And one of the reasons is that that's a fear of stable strength to put an un chilled, unfiltered spirit into the bottle 46 and above, so that it is unlikely you're going to experience any cold flock or warm flock. And that's quite reassuring. So it is knowing is knowing how your liquid behaves, that's how you create products that gives you the best, and B, the fewest problems.

Drew (39:35):
Nice. So anything special we should be looking for down the road? Is there something you're working on that we should keep an eye out for?

Billy Walker (39:44):
So we're working all the time. That's that. That's the interesting part of my job. Look, one thing that we are going to do and bring to the market over the next 80 months, we've been looking at taking a common platform of similar age, similar base first maturation and putting it into funeral casks, putting it into Montreal Manzania, pdo, all Ocean PX in under the umbrella of she series. And it's absolutely fascinating. We're not long into the experience long enough in to be looking at understanding how these develop and it, it's amazing. It's just, and when we bring the series to the market, our type of consumer will just love it. So that's one area. A second absolutely different direction is since 2018 we've been running a P campaign and we intend to bring an interesting series to the market in July August of this year.

It won't be under the Alki brand name, but it will be under a brand name that clearly says it has been distilled at Alki. The difference is that we are operating with Mayland Pete, not is Pete. So we are producing a P style that is significantly divorced from the medicinal briny TCP style of the island. It's a sweeter style funeral level, somewhere around there, about 26 to 72 ppm. We are absolutely delighted with it and we will bring it to the market as a Sherry's style and also as chink style. And we'll also have a TBO TBO style, which will be PPM of around about 80 ppm.

Drew (41:56):
Okay. Wow. So you're talking my language because last time I went back to the mash to which is where I first discovered you through Glen, the second time I went, I had Kevin mix me up a flight of ped sherry whiskeys because to me if done right, it is a beautiful combination and so I am definitely going to be looking forward to seeing what you guys come out with in terms of those.

Billy Walker (42:28):
But Sherry and Pete work very well. The, there's no question there. It's a marriage of probably made in heaven.

And one of the interesting things about Pete is if you are a Pete enthusiast is that you don't need to be embarrassed. If you ever wear to have a relatively young statement on the bottle, this will come out as a five year old or a six year old. And the reason is that the whole Pete experience, phenolic experience is much more vibrant at a younger age than it is an old older age. Older age. The phenol levels tend to dissipate and degrade doesn't make the experience any worse, but the younger stuff gives you the whole holistic or lytic experience with a nice bite.

Drew (43:27):
And this is what conversation I had with John Campbell after he left, I said, what was your favorite age statement for Laro? He said, eight year. He said, it's just perfected eight years and why push it any further?

Billy Walker (43:41):
And by the way, a very talented young man.

Drew (43:43):
Yes, yes, absolutely. So, well thank you so much Billy for taking the time today. I know we extended a little bit further beyond the allotted time, but you have so much wisdom to throw in our direction and then really wonderful whiskeys that you create. So I'm looking forward to seeing those ped cherry whiskeys coming up in the future and all the different types of wood types that you're working with. That's going to be a fun experiment to see.

Billy Walker (44:11):
Anyway, thank you for the invitation and delighted that you are spreading the gospel.

Drew (44:17):
Well that is definitely an interview that I have wanted to do for a long, long time, and I hope you enjoyed hearing from Billy as much as I had fun opening up his book of experiences and knowledge. If you want to learn more about Glen ey, just head to glen aki.com or find links in my show notes@whiskeylore.com. If you can't get enough whiskey history and you also want to support my research at the same time, make sure to join us at patreon.com/whiskey lore for additional content photos for my distillery visits behind the scenes information and more. That's at patreon.com/whiskey lore and next week we're going to be talking Turkey with David Jennings Wild Turkey. That is so make sure you're subscribed so you don't miss that. I'm your host, drew Henderson. Until next time, cheers. And SL of a Whiskey Lord's production of Travel fuel's Life. L L C.


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