Meikle Toir

Meikle Toir

Meikle Tòir [MEE•kuhl Tor] is a range of peated single malt Scotches from the team at The GlenAllachie Distillery in Speyside’s Aberlour. Under the helm of celebrated master distiller Billy Walker, Meikle Tòir, meaning “Big Pursuit,” reflects the distillery’s intent to create an unparalleled lineup of peated whiskies using carefully selected mainland peat.

Quite notably, apart from a small anniversary release of four-year-old peated whisky that debuted in 2022, these are the first releases from The GlenAllachie to be distilled on-site since its purchase in 2017 by Trisha Savage, Graham Stevenson, and Billy Walker (and the first peated spirits in the distillery’s entire production history). Though the whiskies bottled under The GlenAllachie label—meticulously blended and finished single malts from the distillery’s historical stores—have received much acclaim, Meikle Tòir now showcases the carefully considered production choices that have been in play since the distillery’s change in ownership.

Malted barley is purchased locally from Crisp Maltings in Port Gordon or Boortmalt in Buckie. This malt is kilned according to The GlenAllachie’s specifications with mainland peat sourced from St. Fergus, an hour-and-a-half east of Aberlour and approximately one mile from the North Sea coast. This mainland peat, composed more of trees, heather, and inland vegetation than the sea matter and mosses particular to Islay peat, imparts a woody, sweet smoke distinct from the medicinal and maritime qualities associated with its island counterparts. The GlenAllachie team hand selects this peat and employs it in the kilning process while its still damp to impart maximum smokiness, aiming for a PPM (phenol parts per million) between 82 and 95 that then express itself to varying degrees in the final distillates.

The malt is milled at The GlenAllachie on an original Porteus mill that has been in operation since 1968, and the subsequent wort is produced from a four-water sparging cycle to maximize sugar extraction.

The GlenAllachie employs a 160-hour fermentation, contributing to an ester-rich Scotch. This luxury of long fermentation is informed by the evolving relationship between the pre-existing infrastructure of the distillery (established in 1967) and Billy Walker’s team, and it reflects a delicate balance of production potential and intent; though the distillery has the capacity to produce 4,000,000 liters of spirit a year, the decision was made to slow production to an annual average of 700,000 liters, prioritizing character over quantity.

Twice distilled in copper pot stills with descended-angle lyne arms that create less reflux and encourage a full-bodied, fruit-driven spirit, the distillate is cut according to its intended marque and then put in casks of varying types that are either virgin, first fill, or second fill. Meikle Tòir is matured within The GlenAllachie’s 16 on-site warehouses and bottled at 35–71 PPM, striking harmony between peat character and the region’s terroir. This distinguished range of peated Speyside single malt whisky is produced during a six-week portion of the distillery’s production year, ensuring its small batch nature, and bottled at no less than five years old.

Read more about The GlenAllachie’s eponymous range of unpeated single malt, its peated blended malt bottled under the MacNair’s label, or its blended malt & grain, White Heather.