The Balvenie Stories: A Revelation of Cask and Character
The Balvenie Stories range is a collection of single malt whiskies representing tales of character, endeavour and generational knowledge gathered by the craftsmen of The Balvenie Distillery. Each expression is a story from the distillery's long history, with each release adorned with a bespoke artwork by British print artist Andy Lovell. Each artwork, as well as the liquid inside, represents the real-life stories of the people behind the whiskies - bringing meaning to the day-to-day passion and dedication to each whisky-making craft at the distillery. Each whisky has its own taste, but each is rich, luxuriously smooth and underpinned by the distinctively honeyed character of The Balvenie.
This time, it's the story of the coopers. The Balvenie celebrates its on-site cooperage for this edition, in which the experienced coopers make and mend all kinds of casks by hand. It tells a tale of expertise, intuition and the craft of coopering itself, where they are on a quest to unlock the potential of each cask.
This expression has been aged solely in European oak Oloroso sherry casks, to highlight Head Cooper Ian McDonald’s travels to Spain in which he exchanged skills with those working in bodegas in Jerez. They excitedly shared their useful expertise, but found their tools to be very different. Ian, who has worked at The Balvenie for over 50 years, explained that "It was just totally different. I couldn't work with their tools, and they couldn't work with mine. I can't explain it, it's like.. our tools were too much of an extension of ourselves to work for anyone else."
After a 19-year slumber in these rich casks, the liquid was bottled in 2023 at 47.5% abv. The result is a gorgeously sherried dram. Aromas of intense ripe fruits and orange peel arise, along with layers of toasted oak and milled barely. The palate is bold and balanced, with flavours of currants, cherries, fig and chocolates that give way to a lengthy creamy and nutty finish.
Browse the whole range of The Balvenie Stories here.