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Ballantine’s reveals Championship blend

Ballantine’s has unveiled this year’s limited edition Scotch blend to mark the 2013 Ballantine’s Championship held in South Korea this month.

2013 Ballantine's Championship Blend
The 2013 Ballantine’s Championship Blend created by Austrian golfer Bernd Wiesberger and master blender Sandy Hyslop

Asia’s No. 2 Scotch whisky brand has released the sixth Ballantine’s Championship Blend after bringing together master blender Sandy Hyslop and winner of the last year’s championship, Bernd Wiesberger.

The 2013 Championship Blend was crafted with a selection of  whiskies, aged for at least 41 years, and is being released to commemorate this year’s golfing tournament taking place in Icheon, South Korea from 25-28 April.

“We’ve created a truly unique blend that reflects Bernd’s own taste and character but is still true to Ballantine’s signature style – soft, sweet, elegant and balanced,” commented Sandy Hyslop.

“I’m delighted with the results and I believe this Championship Blend is a fitting tribute to the shared flair, craftsmanship and excellence of Ballantine’s and professional golf.”

Just 10 bottles of the limited edition will be produced, with one going to Wiesberger as reigning champion, another going to the 2013 champion and one  auctioned for charity.

Wiesberger becomes the fourth professional golfer to work with the Ballantine’s blending team, after previous winners Lee Westwood OBE, Graeme McDowell MBE and Marcus Fraser.

Wiesberger added: “It has been a privilege to join Ballantine’s master blender, Sandy Hyslop, in creating this special whisky. It will have a place of honour in my home, sitting alongside the Ballantine’s Championship trophy until an occasion so special that I am willing to drink it.”

This year’s Ballantine’s blend has “a nose of apples, pears, fruitcake and a hint of dark chocolate and treacle”. The taste is described as “smooth with fruit and toffee flavours, complemented by a nutty, oaky background”.

The blend is presented in a bottle with a handcrafted, gold finished metal band, bearing the individual bottle number alongside the signatures of its two creators, while the Ballantine’s crest is etched onto the glass.

The bottle sits in a solid wooden cabinet with a leather cover featuring the iconic Ballantine’s ‘B’. Interior panels with a quote from Hyslop and Wiesberger, and a leather-bound booklet complete the luxurious presentation of the 2013 Championship Blend.

Peter Moore, Ballantine’s global brand director, said: “The Ballantine’s Championship Blend is a unique tradition that celebrates the shared values and heritage of Ballantine’s and golf, so we are thrilled to release this year’s unique expression, one of the rarest and most exclusive whiskies ever produced by Hyslop.”

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