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The Balvenie unveils 25 single cask whisky range

William Grant & Sons is celebrating the 53-year service of The Balvenie malt master David Stewart with the launch of 25 rare single cask Scotch whiskies – called The Balvenie DCS Compendium.

The Balvenie DCS Compendium charts the knowledge and skills of its long-standing malt master David Stewart

Unveiled for the first time in London last night, the collection will be launched in five different “chapters”, each containing five different whiskies, over a five-year period.

Said to capture the knowledge of malt master David Stewart, the range contains both the youngest and oldest The Balvenie whiskies ever released, from eight-years-old to more than 50-years old.

The full range consists of whiskies that have all been bottled at cask strength from a single cask.

Each chapter in the collection relates to a specific theme, which are explored in a book specially created by The Balvenie global brand ambassador Dr Sam Simmons.

“After so many years at the distillery, it was important to capture the skills and knowledge that I, and my fellow craftsmen from the distillery, have acquired over the years in a very special way,” said Stewart.

David Stewart is one of only 12 malt masters in the Scotch whisky industry

On the whiskies, he added: “I had a good idea which ones were destined to be part of this collection, even if it took some work and time to track them down. I had to leaf through ledgers, search computer records, and had to hop, quite literally, barrel over barrel to seek them out in the various warehouses.”

Chapter One of the collection, called “Distillery Style”, consists of five different whiskies distilled in different decades that convey the key characteristics of The Balvenie and how these change over time.

Priced at £27,000 in full, Chapter One contains a 1968 variant (aged 46 years, priced £19,000); 1978 (aged 37 years, priced £4,500); 1985 (aged 30 years, priced £1,300); 1997 (aged 17 years, priced £700); and 2005 (aged nine years, priced £400).

Currently, the nine-year-old bottling is the youngest The Balvenie whiskey ever released. With abvs between 45.9% and 60.7%, all Chapter One expressions have been aged in refill American oak barrels and are presented in a walnut and brass presentation frame.

Chapter One will launch this month, however the 1978 and 1995 have been made exclusively available in overseas markets and will not be available in the UK as individual bottles.

A further four Chapters of the collection will be launched annually until 2019.

Chapter Two is called “The Influence of Oak”, Chapter Three the “Secrets of the Stock Model”, Chapter Four “Expecting the Unexpected”, and Chapter Five “Malt Master’s Indulgence.

David Stewart, aged 70, is the Scotch whisky industry’s longest-serving malt masters having gained the title in 1974.

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