Balvenie Stories launches worldwide

by Melita Kiely

Speyside distillery The Balvenie has launched a new collection of whiskies inspired by stories of “endeavour, craft and unexpected twists”.

Comprising three single malts, The Balvenie Stories range includes 12-year-old The Sweet Toast of American Oak, 14-year-old The Week of Peat, and 26-year-old A Day of Dark Barley. Each expression has been designed to communicate the stories of the workers at the Dufftown distillery, such as apprentice malt master Kelsey McKechnie’s use of Kentucky virgin oak to create a fruitier Balvenie whisky; former distillery manager Ian Millar introducing smoke from Speyside peat; or malt master David Stewart MBE using an “unusually brittle” barley. Stewart said: “Stories are the lifeblood of The Balvenie distillery. They make up the fabric of who we are and what we do. “The Balvenie Stories collection tells these tales in liquid form, giving whisky drinkers across the globe a special glimpse into the unique and very human nature of how we produce our whisky. “Each expression in the collection reflects this by telling its own story via first-hand accounts and recollections of the many people involved.” The range is available to purchase now globally. The Sweet Toast of American Oak has been bottled at 43% abv and carries an RRP of £45 (US$57). It is said to have notes of candied orange and lemon peel, vanilla toffee and butterscotch, with layers of blossom honey, melted brown sugar and oak spices. The Week of Peat has an abv of 48.3% and will be available for RRP £65 (US$83) per bottle. It is said to be a “classic” Balvenie whisky, with notes of honey, vanilla, citrus and a “delicate” smokiness. It is an “evolution” of The Balvenie Peat Week Aged 14 Years, which was launched in 2017. Meanwhile, A Day of Dark Barley has been bottled at 47.8% abv and will cost RRP £600 (US$762). It is the product of Stewart and his malt men experimenting with heavily roasted dark barley in 1992. The liquid was first released in 2006 as 14-year-old Balvenie Roasted Malt. Tasting notes for A Day of Dark Barley include toffee sweetness, orange peel, oak vanilla, cinnamon and ginger spices. The Balvenie book Furthermore, The Balvenie will launch a book, called Pursuit – The Balvenie Stories Collection, in autumn this year. Edited by award-winning author and journalist Alex Preston, the book will be published by Canongate. It will contain a series of fiction and non-fiction short stories from writers worldwide, including Lawrence Osborne and Max Porter. Further details about the book will be revealed closer to its launch date.