Independent family-owned distiller, William Grant & Sons, today unveils a new design and modified liquid for Ailsa Bay, its peated single malt whisky.
The new contemporary look takes its inspiration from the creativity of science, which reflects the boundary-pushing technology at the distillery situated at Girvan in Ayrshire. The Innovation team at William Grant & Sons has taken the opportunity of the pack re-fresh to refine the liquid, whilst staying true to the original, award-winning signature style.
As with the technology at the distillery, the liquid profile is constantly evolving; giving Brian Kinsman and the team the opportunity to use some of the older stock to develop the flavour profile of the whisky further. The result is a liquid that is more mellow and complex with a similarly unique balance of smoke and sweet. This change is expressed in a change of SPPM (the unique measure of Sweetness Parts Per Million) of 19 up from 11 and a change in PPPM (the measure of Phenol Parts Per Million in liquid form) to 22 up from 21.
These changes mark the first step in a global brand re-fresh for this innovative whisky that aims to discover new flavours in whisky. A fresh marketing campaign to accompany this brand evolution, with the theme “whisky for the inquisitive”, will follow later this year when the new brand variant will launch in the UK, Australia and Travel Retail in the UK.
Ailsa Bay originally launched in 2016 as a single malt that brought whisky craft and innovation to a whole new level through scientific precision at its state of the art distillery at Girvan, which opened in 2007. This radical approach is driven by a collective of whisky visionaries and scientists including family member Peter Gordon whose vision led to the building of the Ailsa Bay Distillery, Malt Master Brian Kinsman, Projects Director Conn Lynch, Technical Leader John Ross, Distillery Manager Stuart Watt and more recently, Whisky Technologist Kelsey McKechnie. The aim was to develop a new style of peated whisky that delivers the unique balance of smoke and sweetness.
“The first release of Ailsa Bay was about trying to create a very heavily peated whisky with all of the sweetness and smokiness we could muster, but also dial down some of the medicinal notes that characterise some peated whiskies,” says Peter Gordon, Director of William Grant & Sons and great grandson of William Grant.
Using this as the starting point, the Team at Ailsa Bay have plans to develop this further in pursuit of new flavours. Stuart Watts, Distillery Manager at William Grant & Sons said “No other whisky is made with this much science. Using data points to adapt the flavour and applying modern engineering alongside our family’s traditional approach, is truly innovative”.
“The Ailsa Bay distillery continues to allow us to develop incredible whisky through its ability to create different styles under the one roof” says Master Blender Brian Kinsman. “This new expression has allowed us to evolve the flavour notes and push the balance in taste, without compromising on the quality of the liquid”.
The new Ailsa Bay bottle and liquid will be launching across both the on-trade and off-trade network from the beginning of September in Australia, Dufry Stores in GTR, Finland and selected UK stockists with a RSP of £55.00. Limited numbers of the original Ailsa Bay launch pack will still be available for a short period from stockists such as the Whisky Shop and Whisky Exchange in the UK. Ailsa Bay has an ABV of 48.9% per 70 cl bottle.