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Seeking to shake things up in the Scotch industry, Chivas Brothers have released a first from their Allt-a-Bhainne distillery.

The Brand

Allt-a-Bhainne Distillery can be found in the Speyside region of Scotland. It was first built in 1975 in such a way that it could be run by only one person.

Since then it has been mothballed and re-opened and operated at a limited production, but these days, with Whisky demand growing, it has been fully opened and operating at full capacity. It is currently owned by Chivas Brothers.

Single Malts from Allt-a-Bhainne are rare, but with this release, which wants to challenge how things are done in the Scotch industry, Allt-a-Bhainne malts are about to become very popular.

The distillery’s Master Distiller, Richard Clark, says, “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.”

The Malt

The newly released Allt-a-Bhainne is an exploration in smoke and Speyside.

It combines the light, floral, fruity flavours of Speyside, with the big booming peated notes of places like Isaly.

The result is magnificent, and has you wondering why it wasn’t done sooner. Of course this is not the first peated malt from Speyside, but it is definitely a good one.

The nose begins with honey, cinnamon and oak. The wood is sweet and floral, with a lightness that makes the aromas float. Soft peat smoke wafts throughout.

Orchard fruits and a hint of citrus are also present.

The palate is well peated, with more smoke and a lovely earthy peat flavour. This combines perfectly with the cinnamon spice.

Apples, pears and oranges come through, giving it a lovely depth and richness and a sweetness that really bounces off the smoke.

The combination of fruity notes with the tang of the smoke is amazing, and should definitely be done more often.

The finish is full of smoke, with apples and caramel towards the end.

This is a really exciting malt from Allt-a-Bhainne. It will have you seeking out every peated malt in Speyside to taste and experience the perfect combination of fruit and smoke.

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