Today is International Whisky Day and so we thought we would take a look at the Alexandrion Group who have produced Romania’s first ever single malt whisky which they launched in the UK towards the end of last year and their plans to grow and expand the brand globally.
Founding Chairman of the Alexandrion Group, Dr. Nawaf Salameh has built the company into the largest spirits and wines producer in Romania using the natural resources of the country, from which he found the perfect ingredients to be able to create Carpathian Single Malt Whisky by using 100 percent Romanian malted barley and pure sub-Carpathian water. The whisky has been created by a master distiller with decades of experience and who shares his instinct for finishing whisky in different casks from different wineries and spirits producers from around the world. This in turn has resulted in one of the most exciting ranges of single malts.
The Alexandrion Group own their own vineyard – Domeniile Alexandrion Rhein 1892 Winery – which provides them with a ready supply of wine casks, perfect for maturing Carpathian Single Malt and is in fact a first in terms of single malt production, with Dr. Salameh commenting:
“We have a strategic partnership which is quite rare in the whisky world: the collaboration between the Alexandrion Saber 1789 Distillery and the Alexandrion Rhein 1892 Domains Winery, where we source our wine casks from, both owned by the Alexandrion Group. Our Carpathian Single Malt Master Distiller & Whisky Director, Allan Anderson with decades of experience and knowledge in this area, created this single malt whisky which is rapidly conquering consumers all over the world. In fact the whole process has generated a vibrant synergy along with the contribution of our wine experts.”
The Alexandrion Group is also advancing the age-old use of wine and sherry casks for finishing to an entirely new level, with an extensive range of expressions. As Allan Anderson says:
“In the industry the number of single malt whisky expressions is generally limited. Our approach is innovative in that we aim to create up to 100 different expressions by sourcing wine casks from some of the best wine producers all over the world. So far, we have released 10 expressions that are part of different wine cask collections: Romanian, French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese, Greek and Cypriot.
“Alexandrion Group’s Master Blender for Brancoveanu Vinars, Brandy and Wines, Jean-François Joumier, lives in the Cognac region of France. He has sourced the casks from that region for our Cognac expression.”
The care and precision that goes into producing Carpathian Single Malt Whisky provides a special, one-of-a-kind character to every single bottle with each one carrying Allan Anderson’s signature and a unique number identifying it as part of a particular batch, making it a collector’s item. And Dr. Salameh adds:
“I am closely following international news about whiskies and noticed that other producers have started to see a lot of value in the general approach that we ourselves have had for several years now. They are even starting to implement it. I am happy about that and wish them good luck. I am also happy that our contribution to the evolution of the global single malt whisky market is recognized as truly significant.”
The Alexandrion Group recently opened their second distillery on the same site as the first, illustrating their ambition to grow on the world stage as a global producer whilst maintaining the company’s ethos of authenticity and heritage combined with technology and innovation.
As Jean-François Joumier, Master Blender for Brancoveanu Vinars, Brandy & Wines says:
“The Fetească Neagră finish is unique to the world of whisky. It is a grape variety that is only produced in Romania and is considered the best red wine variety in the country. We produce Fetească Neagră wines at our winery in Dealu-Mare and some of these wines, such as Hyperion Fetească Neagră, were awarded gold medals in very prestigious international competitions, such as Concours Mondial de Bruxelles. So, the wine casks that we use to finish Carpathian Single Malt’s Fetească Neagră, was originally home to some of the best Fetească Neagră wines in the world. A consumer from Romania or from any other country, who drank Fetească Neagră and liked it and wishes to try a single malt whisky with this finish, can only buy it from us.”
The whisky spends its early years in a charred first fill ex-Kentucky bourbon cask of white American Oak before being transferred into a toasted European Oak red wine cask previously holding a Romanian Feteasca Neagra wine sourced from their own winery. It has a clear amber colour and intensity on the nose with hints of black pepper, cloves and candies. Add to that notes of vanilla, raisins, bananas and pineapple, and it all comes together for a sweetly rich and complex finish.
For more information, please visit: www.carpathian-singlemalt.com.
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man On The Ground, a former member of The British Guild of Travel Writers and professional photographer.
Photographs courtesy of the Alexandrion Group