The Balvenie, a brand that holds a place in the hearts of almost every Scotch whisky fan, so when William Grant & Sons announced a new permanent Belvenie expression that would hit the shelves in June 2017 for sale to the global travel retail market aka duty free, it was sure to put a smile upon a lot of faces even more so when it’s a peated whisky. Non-chill-filtered and bottled at 48% abv, with an RRP of £65.
We have seen previous releases from Balvenie matured in peated casks (The Balvenie Peated Cask 17), but this is totally different as it is whisky which has been produced from 100% peated barley. From what I can see online the specification of the barley is 30 PPM Phenols.
Balvenies Malt Master, David Stewart MBE and Ian Millar, the former distillery manger and now William Grant & Sons, Prestige Whiskies Specialist, ran trials of sort, this resulting in The Peated Triple Cask 14.y.o.
David Stewart MBE – “Being able to experiment with different elements of whisky making and stock management is one of the most exciting and important parts of my job. The new Peated Triple Cask is a result of our continued efforts to innovate and trial flavours not typically associated with Balvenie.”
It’s known that for one dedicated week a year the Balvenie distillery uses 100% Highland peat to dry their barley in its production process, this is known as “Peat Week”. Done to produce a different style of whisky with the enhancement of smokey notes. A format which the distillery hasn’t produced in 50 plus years & not many Speyside distilleries still practice.
As stated on the bottle – “Before the 1960s at the Balvenie Distillery, we used much more peat to dry our malted barley than we do today. This spirit has been made from HEAVILY PEATED barley and aged for 14 years in the three more traditional types of casks – first-fill bourbon, refill bourbon and sherry. The resulting whisky is smoky sweet with a cinnamon spiciness”.
As a side note – In October this year (2017) Balvenie are due to release a second peated 14 year old whisky matured in American Oak, know as “Peat Week” and the lables can be found on the American TTB website. There are no more details as of yet, but keep your eyes peeled.
Last weekend on my travels back from Glasgow I was delighted when I came across the new release. Without a doubt the bank account took a hit. Two bottles of The Balvenie, Peated Triple Cask are now safely in the bunker.
Whiskey JAC, Review Notes –
Nose: Hit with a malty sweetness rounded off by softhearted smoke in the back drop. Vanilla toffee gives way to a cinnamon spiciness.
Taste: Situated at the front is smoke, followed up by a syrupy sweetness, citrus, vanilla and honey, finishing with a cinnamon and ginger kick.
Finish: Softhearted smoke with a prolonged and spicy sweetness.
Comments: Like nothing I have tried from the Balvenie range (never been lucky enough to try the 17y.o. peated cask) but more than likely will soon become my go to pour. The peated malt of 30ppm you’d expect it to be situated somewhere on the peat scale between Talisker – 25ppm & Lagavulin – 35ppm which is just perfect for me, but the final distilled & bottled whisky comes out around 13-15ppm would be my guess. I get the feeling my air miles might start to sore just to stock up.
Check out some images I took….
Until next time folks, keep safe & keep drinking whisk(e)y.
Over & out.
Jamie. Whiskey JAC.