Billy Walker – 2021

Master distiller, The GlenAllachie Distillers Company Ltd.

Born in Dumbarton, the home of Ballantine’s Scotch Whisky, in 1946, Billy Walker graduated from The University of Glasgow in 1967 with a BSc Honours Degree in Chemistry. Billy subsequently spent four years working as a chemist, before taking on a broad production-related role at The Ballantine’s Scotch Whisky Company in 1974. 

He then moved to Inver House Distillers in 1976, as master blender, where he developed a number of products for the company. In 1983 he joined Burn Stewart Distillers as master blender / operations director and was a key part of the team that subsequently acquired the company in 1988 as part of a management buy-out. He played a major role in driving the acquisition and rejuvenation of two single malt distilleries – Deanston and Tobermory – and the creation of a purpose-built bottling hall. 

In 2004, Billy led the acquisition of BenRiach Distillery, establishing the BenRiach Distillery Company. Over the next 12 years the company re-invented the BenRiach, GlenDronach and Glenglassaugh distilleries, bringing an incredible range of malt whiskies to the market from sites that previously were not well known. In April 2016, it was announced that Brown-Forman would purchase the company. 

In October 2017, along with Trisha Savage and Graham Stevenson, Billy Walker acquired The GlenAllachie Distillery. The first core range of The GlenAllachie Single Malt Scotch Whisky was launched in July 2018, to much acclaim. Throughout nearly 50 years in the industry, Billy has undoubtedly become one of the most well-regarded individuals in Scotch and is universally respected as one of the world’s leading master blenders.

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