We are a lucky lot (we being whisky drinkers), as this week we are
spoilt for choice with new releases from Balvenie. That’s right, not one, not
two but three single malts labelled ‘The Balvenie Stories’.
The collection includes two permanently available expressions being ‘The Sweet Toast of American Oak’ 12 year old, and ‘A Week of Peat’ 14 year old. The third, ‘A Day of Dark Barley’ 26 year old, being released on a limited basis and sporting a price tag to match.
‘The Sweet Toast of American Oak’ has been finished in double-toasted, virgin American oak casks. The taste is said to be dominated by wood but holding the distilleries signature honey and dried fruit characters. Retailing here for $89.
‘A Week of Peat’ is a release to celebrate the distilleries Week of Peat
celebration which started back in 2002. Eager to experiment with The
Balvenie profile using what he had learnt from a recent trip to Islay,
distillery manager Ian Millar ordered a batch of Speyside peat for the kiln.
For a week a year, The Balvenie distills a batch of peated malt, resulting in a
whisky rich in honey, vanilla and citrus notes with an extra layer of delicate
Brian Webster, The Balvenie Mashman vividly remembers the smell: “That stinking stuff! As some guys say.” Brian laughs out loud, launching into the details: “During mashing it affected you – it went for your eyes, nose, throat, and this all lingered on me, through the whole shift. Jim, one of the other Mashmen, complained about the reek of peat on his clothes, as did his wife when he came home!”
Sounds like my type of dram! Set to retail down under for $150, I will definitely be getting my hands on a bottle or two.
Finally, ‘A Day of Dark Barley’; At a hefty RRP of $1100 AUD, it is safe to say I will not be trying it! But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. So what do you get for your money?
The juice features a batch of dark roasted malted barley, more commonly used in the production of stout, and marked the beginning of a 26-year long experiment. The result is said to be a pleasing depth – smokiness and oakiness as well as the classic honey, vanilla and citrus flavours.
The Stories collection also brings the stories of the important people who help create it. Each bottle comes with a hang tag that can be scanned to access podcasts where Apprentice Malt Master Kelsey McKechnie, Maltmen Robbie Gormley and Mashman Brian Webster, and The Balvenie Global Ambassador Gemma Paterson discuss the whiskies. Even if you do not grab a bottle, you can still hear the podcasts on here https://www.thebalvenie.com/balvenie-stories/?url=/balvenie-stories