Whisky Focus - Allt-A-Bhainne Sweetly Peated

Allt-A-Bhainne Sweetly Peated

24th September 2018
Chivas Brothers launch the first ever official Allt-A-Bhainne bottling, a sweetly peated Speyside single malt whisky.

Allt-A-Bhainne Sweetly PeatedYou can be forgiven for not recognising Allt-A-Bhainne Single Malt Whisky as it has never been officially bottled as a single malt by its owners Chivas Brothers, well that is until now.

Chivas Brothers has just launched the first official distillery bottling, simply named Allt-A-Bhainne (pronounced "Alta-Vayne"), which they describe as "The Sweetly Peated Single Malt"

Chivas Brothers tell me that the new Allt-A-Bhainne expression intends to shake up the single malt category by mixing the smokiness of peat with the fruity sweetness of the Speyside region in Scotland. They say the challenger whisky will push conventional boundaries in a bid to attract a whole new generation of drinkers.

Allt-A-Bhainne was originally established back in 1975 to supply malt whisky as a component of the Chivas Brothers blends such as Chivas Regal and 100 Pipers blend which had launched in 1966 and had become more popular than they had anticipated.

During the last few years 50% of the production at Allt-A-Bhainne has been lightly peated spirit with the phenol content of the malted barley being 10PPM. With an annual output capacity of 4,200,000 litres at the distillery most of this lightly peated output has continued to feed the Chivas Brothers blends because as you know the company does not own any peaty whisky producing distilleries on Islay or elsewhere and this lightly peated Allt-A-Bhainne spirit helps to meet their need for for peated whisky in their portfolio of blends.

Being a peated single malt whisky, the new Allt-A-Bhainne expression certainly goes against the grain and stands out as different from the more traditional Speyside whiskies. Launched at a time when peated malts are growing globally by 7.6%, Allt-A-Bhainne is Chivas Brothers offering for those seeking a touch of peat in their single malt whisky.

Bottled at 40% ABV, it is aimed at active single malt explorers looking to experience something a bit different, while it should also appealing to new single malt drinkers with its sweet peated Speyside style.

Capturing its bold personality, the clean bottle design features strong, geometric shapes to create an energetic look that resonates with the 70s style of the Allt-A-Bhainne distillery on the label. The clean, uncluttered design of the bottle shows off the liquid and screams confidence in what’s inside. The wooden stopper is a gesture towards the craftsmanship at the heart of the brand. There is no box or presentation tube.

Richard Clark, Allt-A-Bhainne Master Distiller, comments: "We know that whisky drinkers have evolved. 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."

Allt-A-Bhainne is now available here in the UK at an RRP of £37.00 and will also be rolling out in Australia. I suspect it will be an easy drinking lightly peated Speysider but as I haven't had the chance to taste it yet I cant comment on its quality but if you fancy trying it for yourself and ticking another Scotch whisky distillery off your list on your whisky journey you will find it available from specialist online whisky retailers such as Master of Malt

Allt-A-Bhaine Review

Bottled at 40% ABV.

Producer's Tasting Notes:

Nose: Notes of soft red apples, sweet runny honey, delicate smoke (bonfire embers) and toffee.

Taste: The smoky flavour comes through much more markedly on the taste and gives a delightful mix of citrus fruits (sweet orange and ripe melon), toasted marshmallows, smoke and gentle peaty flavours.

Finish: Long, smoky, slightly dry and spicy.

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