Though ever expanding, it’s not every day that a brand-spankin’ new product enters the whisky market, and it’s even rarer that it’s as original as the unique liquid that is Allt-A-Bhainne.
Allt-A-Bhainne (pronounced ALT-uH-BUNYA) is a new release from an already well-established distillery, operated by Chivas Brothers. Though the Allt-A-Bhainne distillery has been pumping out delicious malts since 1975, their output has been, until now, primarily allocated to the blends which have made the brand famous. Now, however, they’ve decided to crack the single malt market, and go out on a limb with their unique recipe, which sees Speyside peat used in the malting process, creating a slightly smoky whisky not inherent to the region.
Speyside whisky is known for its fruit-driven characteristics, balanced, rounded sweetness and full mouthfeel, while peated whisky is generally associated with Islay and the Isle of Skye. Here, in a modern approach to an industry bound by tradition, the distillery has created something fresh and exciting, which displays the heart of Speyside, with just a little smoke to add a new layer of flavour.
“We know that whisky drinkers have evolved”, says Richard Clark, Allt-A-Bhainne Master Distiller. ” They are becoming more adventurous with their repertoire and want to try something new. That’s why we’ve decided now is the perfect time to launch Allt-A-Bhainne.”
“Convention said we shouldn’t mix peat with Speyside and that smokiness and sweetness wouldn’t work together. But we followed our nose, distilled the whisky in the way we know and trust, and Allt-A-Bhainne is the result. It’s a match that might go against traditional Speyside conventions, but that’s something we’re not afraid to challenge.”
Packaged in a cool square bottle with a ’70s feel to the label, this is not another product presented on a platform of old-world tradition, rather, it eschews any stereotype that one might have of such a well-loved industry, and turns it on its head by challenging the consumer. And it happens to be delicious.
With the classic nose of soft red apples, honey, tropical fruits and toffee present at first, delicate bonfire smoke sits comfortably alongside the atypical Speyside set of aromas to create something unique. Citrus and toasted marshmallows join the front palate, which introduces more smoke to the olfactory, before a lengthy and dry finish that hints of spice.
Eric Thomson, Marketing Director of Pernod Ricard Australia, added: “The Single Malts category alone in Australia is in strong double-digit growth at +19.7%. Traditionally, Single Malt whisky focuses on history, heritage and how things used to be done. Speyside is known for its fruity whiskies but Allt-A-Bhainne goes against the grain creating an unconventional mix of sweet & peat.”
Allt-A-Bhainne is now available in Australia for a RRP of AUD$80.