Whisky Magazine Issue 9
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Jamie Walker had revived the Adelphi name after nearly a century. Ken Hyder talks to the man whose cask crusade promises to widen the horizons of Irish Whiskey and Scotch drinkers.
When Jamie Walker put single cask Irish whiskeys on sale this year (see New Releases, Whisky Magazine, Issue 8), it marked both the end of one journey and the beginning of another.
Jamie, the great grandson of Archibald Walker, owner of the Glasgow distillery Adelphi, had achieved his aim of reviving the Adelphi label. Bottles of Scotch and Irish whiskey once again bore the name of the family business. But the liquids inside, all from single casks, were testimony to Jamie's personal and totally contemporary conviction that cask is the only class worth considering.
“Cask strength is whisky at its purest. When I first tasted a single cask strength, I was so blown away by the taste I realised there was only one side of the business I wanted to work in,” is how he describes it.
Adelphi's feat of introducing single Irish cask whisky, distilled at the Cooley Distillery in Dundalk, is not to be underestimated either, as Jamie explains, “Single Irish whiskey is very rare as most of it is made from a mix of grains, although in pot stills. Single cask Irish whiskey is practically unique.
“We are very proud to be offering a Shannon 1991, single Irish grain, and two single malts. This is exciting new territory for the whisky drinker to explore.”
To get Adelphi to this high point took plenty of hard work and inspiration. It began when Jamie failed his accountancy exams and looked to the past for new inspiration.
He remembered stories about his great grandfather and the bu...