The Balvenie Fifty launched in honour of David Stewart
In celebration of malt master David Stewart’s 50th birthday with The Balvenie, the Speyside distiller has released The Balvenie Fifty – an ultra rare single malt bottling.
Stewart laid down a batch of The Balvenie single malt whisky in a rare European oak sherry hogshead, the likes of which are rarely used to make whisky today, in 1962 – the same year he joined the company as an apprentice.
Just 88 bottles of The Balvenie Fifty have been produced, and as such have a price tag of £20,000.
“Cask 5576 and I have shared the last five decades together at The Balvenie Distillery and as single malt making is as much art and alchemy as precise science, the interaction between wood and maturing whisky means each cask will produce something entirely unique,” said Stewart, who over 50 years has nosed in the region of 400,000 whisky casks.
“It’s true to say I have a dream job and I’ve been privileged to taste a lot of wonderful whisky in my time, but it’s a great delight to discover how after half a century this unique cask has turned out a truly special single malt.”
The Balvenie Fifty has an abv of 44.1% is described as featuring sweet citrus notes with hints of honey, spice and oak. It is presented in a hand blown glass bottle surrounded by a wooden case, created by Scottish craftsman, Sam Chinnery.
David Stewart trained as an apprentice at The Balvenie for 12 years when he joined in 1962 – the year before Scotch exports began. He was appointed malt master in 1974 and went on to win the Grand Prix of Gastronomy, awarded by the British Academy of Gastronomes, in 2005.