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Balvenie to release 50-year-old whisky for £27k

William Grant & Sons is set to launch a 50-year-old Balvenie single malt whisky in the UK, priced at £27,500 (US$36,400) – The Balvenie Fifty: Marriage 0962.

The Balvenie Fifty: Marriage 0962 packaging pays homage to the brand’s classic bottle shape

Bottled at 41.6% abv, The Balvenie Fifty: Marriage 0962 is made from four American oak casks aged 50 years or over, selected by malt master David Stewart.

The expression is a result of Stewart’s “ongoing commitment to experimentation and innovation”. The numbers ‘0962’ relate to the month and year that Stewart joined William Grant & Sons.

On the nose, the expression has hints of brown sugar, toffee and spiced ground ginger. The palate has “delicate notes of oak, layered with maple syrup, tangy citrus and a trace of nutmeg, developing into a delicious honeyed sweetness”, and leads to a “long and lingering” finish.

Stewart said: “Marrying aged whisky stocks is undoubtedly one of the most challenging, yet enjoyable facets of my role as The Balvenie malt master.

“This was a chance to explore the furthest reaches of our precious aged stocks and see how their extremes could be controlled and combined. Despite enjoying more than 55 years in the business, I’m still discovering and learning new things about the science and art of whisky making.

“The creation of Marriage 0962 took months of patience to complete, as we’re dealing with liquids with extremes in abv, taste and age. It’s not every day I get the opportunity to work with liquids of such age, so it was a huge pleasure to be able to share it with the world today.”

Marriage 0962 is presented in a wooden tube comprised of 50 layers, 48 of walnut and two of brass, created by Scottish wood craftsman Sam Chinnery.

It also comes with an etched brass certificate and bottle glorifier, inscribed with the tasting notes of each cask.

The design of the glass decanter is a “sleek reinterpretation” of the classic Balvenie bottle shape, which mirrors the distillery’s copper stills.

The Balvenie Fifty: Marriage 0962 will launch in the UK in August. Twelve bottles will be available at specialist whisky retailers including Harrods, Hedonism and Selfridges.

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