Ailsa Bay whisky lands Down Under

Ailsa BayFamily-owned UK distiller William Grant & Sons has unveiled its single malt liquor, Ailsa Bay, to the Australian market.

The single malt is the first and only whisky in the world to index ‘sweetness’ due to a data-led distillation process created by Malt Master, Brian Kinsman.

Initially in the UK and Nordics in 2016, Australia is just the second in the world to sample the new Ailsa Bay release 1.2. Demand for single malt whisky here is growing at 15.8 per cent year-on-year.

Ailsa Bay was distilled at the state-of-the-art distillery in Girvan, Scotland and was assessed by both phenol parts per million (PPPM) and sweet parts per million (SPPM). PPPM is a long-standing industry standard that assesses a whisky’s “smokiness”. William Grant & Sons said that the extensive use of data during the distillation process at Girvan has allowed its team to a new level of transparency that allows a “sweetness” index – SPPM. 

“Ailsa Bay’s distillery is one of the most advanced in the world. It’s a playground for our inquisitive team of scientists, engineers and whisky makers that can question the status quo and push boundaries,” said William Grant & Sons’ Malt master, Brian Kinsman.

“We have created a beautiful new sensory experience, distilling whisky in the most precise way possible through data science. We operate in a phenomenally traditional industry. As a company we don’t want to change that, but instead harness all the enhancements technology can bring. Ailsa Bay speaks to curious and progressive whisky enthusiasts, particularly those in science, technology, engineering and mathematics who appreciate the way technology can challenge, augment and elevate traditional experiences.”

The liquor company said that Ailsa Bay has gone through ‘micro-maturation’, a process wherein a new spirit is aged first in small bourbon casks for up to nine months. By ‘cask starting’ the malt rather than ‘cask finishing’, the whisky scientists layers on flavours, which takes the liquid through rapid, intense maturation and incorporating varying levels of sweetness and smokiness.

“We like to think of it as oak at the heart, data at the head. Peter Gordon, our former chairman and great-great grandson of founder William Grant, had a vision to create a new style of whisky that uniquely balanced smoke and sweetness. With deep history and innovation, we are now able to deliver on his dream with Ailsa Bay,” Kinsman added.

Ailsa Bay is sold online at Vintage Cellars, selected First Choice stores (and online) and Liquorland selected stores at RRP A$99 per 700ml bottle.


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