top of page

ALLY BHANA

We put a call-out to the women in Australian distilling to give us an insight into who they are, and why they chose this industry, here’s some of their responses!


Ally Bhana

Assistant Sales Manager at Sullivan's Cove Whisky, TAS


HOW MANY YEARS HAVE YOU BEEN IN THE INDUSTRY?


4-7 years


WHAT SPARKED YOUR INTEREST IN THE INDUSTRY?


"I spent most of my 20s travelling and spent some of that time living in Europe. It was there that I started to develop a taste for whisky while living in Ireland and Scotland. I was working in hospitality at that time as a way to fund my travels, and eventually landed a job in a whisky bar in The Netherlands. This really sparked my passion for the industry and was a real lightbulb moment in my career. I started to learn how diverse the flavour profiles in whisky were, and how fun it was sharing the stories of each product. The community surrounding whisky also drew me in. In 2019 I ended up deciding to finish up my travels and move a bit closer to home. I decided I wanted to pursue a job in whisky in Tasmania after learning a bit about it in the bars I had been working in. I'm 4 years in now, and really glad I made that decision!"


YOUR MOST PROUD MOMENTS IN THE INDUSTRY?


"A real tough one, as there have been a few! I think the opportunity to travel to London to attend the World Whiskies Awards and represent Sullivan's Cove earlier in the year would definitely be a big one. We are a small distillery punching above our weight on the global stage and I feel really proud to work for a brand held in such high regard. I've been lucky to have so many amazing opportunities presented to me while working in the Tasmanian spirits industry so far."


WHAT HAVE YOU FOUND TO BE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES IN THE INDUSTRY?


"I remember feeling quite intimidated at first presenting to crowds of enthusiasts and suffering a bit from imposter syndrome. I think it takes time to build up your knowledge and confidence and feel that you are an authority on the products you are presenting. Lots of people in the industry have really been so supportive in helping me along in my journey. I'm constantly learning, which is one thing I love about working in the industry."


WHAT WOULD YOU TELL SOMEONE THAT KNOWS NOTHING ABOUT AUSSIE CRAFT SPIRITS?


"Take the journey - Dive right in, meet the makers, hear the stories and don't be afraid to ask what might seem like a stupid question. There is so much innovation and diversity in what people are making locally, you're missing out if you don't explore what's out there and find out what sets our products apart."


WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT YOU WOULD WANT TO TELL YOUR YOUNGER SELF?


"Live in the moment more! It will all work out ok in the end."


WHAT IS YOUR PARTY TRICK?


"Oh wow, I don't really have one. People are often surprised that I'm a big 90s Grunge music fan and can whip out the lyrics to lots of Pearl Jam and Nirvana songs, and others from that era though haha. Does that count?"


WHO HAS INSPIRED YOU THE MOST IN YOUR CAREER SO FAR?


"My former boss Said Bijary from The Malt Vault in The Netherlands. Had he not taken me on as an employee at his wonderful bar, I might not have found the passion I have for the industry. That was an incredible work place with fantastic customers and a great start to my journey working with whisky."


WHAT ELSE DO YOU WANT US TO KNOW?


"Well since you asked, how could I not mention my gorgeous cat Clay. I love him as much as I love my whisky and he often gets to feature on my Instagram page - whiskiesnwhiskers. He's very cute, and his special talents are that he can walk with a harness and lead. He loathes the smell of whisky and other alcohols."

bottom of page