The Dream Whiskies prize for July 2018 is this wonderfully creative ‘experiment’ by the Balvenie Malt Master, David Stewart. In 2001, Stewart acquired a heavily peated batch of barley which was then distilled and left to mature for some time. At a later stage, the peated whisky was transferred elsewhere leaving a collection of casks that had taken on much of the peated distilate’s flavours and character.
At this point Stewart transferred some traditionally aged 17 year-old Balvenie in to the peated casks, allowing that spirit a ‘few months’ to take on the cask’s characteristics. Prior to bottling, this peated cask-finished whisky was married with more 17 year-old Balvenie that had been aged in American Oak, thus producing this unique 17 year-old Peated Cask expression.
This bottling dates from 2010 and comes in at a heart-warming 43%abv. Now discontinued and difficult to get hold of, bottles are selling for as much as £450. In fact, there’s one for sale at The Whisky Exchange for just that sum HERE.
The following are The Balvenie’s own tasting notes:
NOSE Gentle floral aroma with hints of violet and lavender. Delicate smoke beautifully balanced with honeyed vanilla and spicy oakiness.
TASTE Prominent smoke softens to reveal oaky honey and vanilla. Cinnamon and nutmeg develop with time.
FINISH Sweet and spicy with a hint of smoke.