The Balvenie unveils peated whisky expressionBy Kristiane Sherry
William Grant & Sons’s Speyside distillery The Balvenie has expanded its small range of peated Scotch whiskies with the launch of The Balvenie Peated Triple Cask Aged 14 Years.
Described as a “reimagining” of the classic single malt Speyside whisky, the permanent travel retail exclusive release is the result of trials by malt master David Stewart MBE, and Ian Millar, former distillery manager and current prestige whiskies specialist at William Grant.
Some years ago The Balvenie introduced a peating programme to create a different style of the whisky with “enhanced smoky notes”, and pay homage to a time when peat use was commonplace in Speyside.
One batch of peated malt was distilled each year during ‘peat week’, with the spirit laid down to mature at the Dufftown distillery. The distillery has a traditional malting floor which is still utilised today.
The resulting non-chill-filtered expression has been aged in first-fill Bourbon, refill Bourbon and Sherry casks. The resulting “classic honeyed” whisky is said to offer “unexpected” “delicate, sweet and lingering” peat smoke notes with “cinnamon and ginger spiciness”.
“Being able to experiment with different elements of whisky making and stock management is one of the most exciting and important parts of my job,” said Stewart.
“The new Peated Triple Cask is a result of our continued efforts to innovate and trial flavours not typically associated with The Balvenie. The expression is testament to the freedom we enjoy as a family company, and shows The Balvenie in an unexpected way, yet still remaining true to the distillery style our drinkers enjoy.”
Millar added: “When we first started the experiments it was an incredibly exciting time, as very few Speyside distilleries were using peated malt in production.
“Along with cask type, there’s nothing quite like peat to change the flavour profile of a whisky, so it was great to have the chance to undertake these experiment and lay the foundations for future peated malts.”
The Balvenie Peated Triple Cask Aged 14 Years is available in travel retail from June 2017 with an RRP of £65 (US$83).