Nestled in the breathtakingly beautiful surroundings of Dufftown, Speyside, The Balvenie distillery has been handcrafting outstanding whisky for 129 years, and its three new cask finished whiskies are no exception.
Balvenie’s New Cask Finishes -
A True Feast For The Palate!
The new expressions, two of which are launched exclusive to Global Travel Retail, are presented in the “Cask Finishes” range and embody the distillery’s signature honeyed character. Balvenie Malt Master David C. Stewart MBE’s pioneering finishing process adds exceptional trait to the overall experience.
He says, “It is no secret that I enjoy sweet wines like Madeira and when introduced to Pineau I was instantly impressed by the flavour profile and interested to see what these casks would bring to The Balvenie.”
Malt Master David C. Stewart MBE
The Balvenie team’s meticulous odyssey of flavour spanning the viniculture regions of Europe, serve as the inspiration behind the new travel retail expressions that feature finishing casks from Madeira and Pedro Ximénez from Jerez, as well as the Pineau casks from the French Charentes vineyards – a first in the distillery’s 129-year history – offered only domestically.
Madeira Cask 15 Year Old and Pedro Ximénez Sherry Cask 18 Year Old are the new additions to the travel retail Cask Finishes range, while the Balvenie French Oak Cask Aged 16 Years has been offered as part of the range exclusive to the domestic market.
An archipelago consisting of four islands located off the northwest coast of Africa, Madeira is known for its namesake wine and warm, subtropical climate. In the past, the brewery had used casks from the volcanic island for older expressions, and David Stewart’s passion for Madeira’s versatile dessert wine and complex casks was rekindled by a recent vacation he took there.
Madeira casks are exposed to the sun’s heat, naturally sweetening the wine they once held. This effect leads to the creation of the light, lively yet summery Single Malt finish characteristic of Madeira Cask 15 Year Old.
Sherry is a popular cask type in Scotch Whisky and the Balvenie Pedro Ximénez Cask Aged 18 Years is the second sherry finish for the Cask Finishes range. The sweet wine from the cherished Pedro Ximénez casks gets its intensity from sun-ripened vines.
The process of finishing (aka double matured) is the process of taking whisky out of its original maturation cask and transferring it into a second cask of different origin. This adds a secondary layer of complexity to the whisky and yields a distinctive character that no other process can.
Brand owner William Grant & Sons asserts that both expressions will be listed by all key retailers with brand activation support through major Asian airports including Hainan, Seoul Incheon and Jeju Taoyuan. Meanwhile in Europe, a number of high-profile promotions have been agreed with Heinemann for airports such as Schiphol, Frankfurt, Berlin, Budapest, Copenhagen, Vienna and Munich.
Lindsay Hitzeroth, WG&S Head of Customer Marketing, GTR says “We’re delighted to be launching The Balvenie Cask Finishes Range with two exclusive editions for Global Travel Retail … As travel now begins to show real recovery in the aftermath of Covid, we will continue to inspire and engage consumers with The Balvenie 15yo Madeira Cask and 18 yo Pedro Ximénez Cask, both delivering the quality of liquid and iconic appeal that luxury shoppers will be searching for.”
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In Scotland today, very few distilleries still spread and turn the grain by hand on a traditional malting floor. The Balvenie may be the most noteworthy.
David Stewart says “It’s important to maintain these traditions … because it has allowed The Balvenie to maintain quality and consistency all these years … if William Grant came back to The Balvenie Distillery he would find very little has changed over all of these years.”
The Balvenie Madeira Cask Aged 15 Years
Nose: Overflowing flavours of blackcurrants and brambles slowly layer upon gingery syrup and delicate spice.
Taste: Ripe fruitiness from fresh peaches lead to a citrus orange zing, hazelnuts and crisp oakiness coating the pallet.
Finish: Long lasting.
First Cask: Several years of maturation in traditional American Oak whisky barrels imparts warming layers of honey and vanilla for our sweet signature honeyed core flavour.
Second Cask: Finishing in Madeira casks increases complexity, bringing notes of fresh peaches, oranges zing and hazelnut.
The Balvenie Pedro Ximénez Cask Aged 18 Years
Nose: A medley of flavours from raisin & bursting currants, intertwine oak and subtle clove, concealing smooth sweet lavender.
Taste: A modern classic fruit fusion of tart grape skin, mandarin & fig flow together with vibrant oak to coat the mouth with a delicate oil and honeyed sweetness.
First Cask: Many years of maturation in traditional American Oak whisky barrels mellows the maturing spirit and imparts warming layers of honey and vanilla.
Second Cask: Finishing in Pedro Ximénez sherry butts creates a fusion of sweet lavender, mandarin, fig and subtle clove.
The Balvenie French Oak Cask Aged 16 Years
Nose: Beautifully balanced light floral notes from lotus and geranium flowers dance between hints of fresh meadow grass and peeled apple skin.
Taste: An energising zing from tangy lemon rind and grapefruit meet the delicate subtle sweetness of glazed fruits and spice from root ginger.
Finish: Refreshingly concise.
First Cask: Years of maturation in American Oak casks brings an abundance of vanilla spice and warm honey notes
Second Cask: Finishing in Pineau casks creates notes of energising grapefruit, geranium, glazed fruit and ginger.
David C. Stewart MBE , Dufftown Speyside , French Charentes , Jerez , Lindsay Hitzeroth, Madeira, Owen Gildersleeve , Pineau , The Balvenie , The Balvenie Distillery , The Balvenie French Oak Cask Aged 16 Years , The Balvenie Madeira Cask 15 Yo , The Balvenie Pedro Ximénez Sherry Cask 18 Yo , Travel Retail , William Grant & Sons