New independent whisky bottler The Alistair Walker Whisky Company, based in Scotland, has just released its first range of single cask bottlings, under the ‘Infrequent Flyers’ brand.
The company was established in 2018 by Alistair Walker. Alistair started his career in whisky at Burn Stewart Distillers in 1997, then more recently spent 12 years at The BenRiach Distillery Company, and has worked in the Scotch Whisky industry for almost 20 years.
“After leaving BenRiach in 2016, following the sale of the business, I had to decide what to do next. I wanted to remain in the whisky industry; it’s a great industry, very sociable and fun (mostly!) to be part of – and I’ve been in Scotch for my entire working life. I was also keen to set up on my own, as I had always fancied a go at running my own business. Independent bottling seemed like the ideal solution.” – Alistair Walker
The focus of the business will be on single cask bottlings, certainly at the beginning.
“Initially I am concentrating on single casks from distilleries in Scotland. I might branch out into other areas in the future, such as whiskies from beyond these shores, but for now it’s all about single cask Scotch whiskies. The name ‘Infrequent Flyers’ is a little unorthodox, but it refers to the nature of many of the casks that we bottle – often whiskies from lesser-known distilleries that are of excellent quality, but have never been widely or consistently available. As such, many of our bottlings are of whiskies that you just don’t see so often – hence the name.” – Alistair Walker
The company has already started working on the 2nd batch of casks to be bottled, scheduled to be released in October, but the planning is far more long-term than that.
“I’m laying down stocks to ensure availability of casks to bottle for years to come, and I’m also doing a lot of re-racks at the moment, transferring some of the whiskies into very interesting styles of wood. That’s a big commitment, financially, but it’s well worth it. My top priority in terms of investment is in the quality of the product, and good wood management is essential.” – Alistair Walker
The inaugural release consists of 9 single cask bottlings, and encompasses an array of styles, vintages and regions. Ages range from 11 years old up to 26 years old, there are malts from Highland, Speyside, Lowland, Orkney and Islay, and there are classic, peated and triple-distilled whiskies. There is even a single grain whisky included for good measure. Full details of the 1st batch are as follows:
Distilled at Glen Keith – 1993 cask no. 8511 / 26 years old
Distilled at Auchentoshan – 1993 cask no. 243 / 26 years old
Distilled at Cameronbridge – 1995 cask no. 8047657 / 24 years old
Distilled at Undisclosed Orkney – 2003 cask no. A521 # 9 / 16 years old
Distilled at Loch Lomond (peated – Croftengea) – 2005 cask no. 102 / 14 years old
Distilled at Benrinnes – 2006 cask no. 300009 / 13 years old
Distilled at Undisclosed Islay – 2006 cask no. 306126 / 12 years old
Distilled at Royal Brackla – 2006 cask no. 311985 / 12 years old
Distilled at Fettercairn – 2007 cask no. 801506 / 11 years old
Infrequent Flyers Batch One was bottled late June, and released over the last month. The range is available from selected independent UK specialist whisky retailers, and has also been exported to Germany, Belgium, Japan and New Zealand (so far).