A peated Balvenie, music to a lot of peoples ears, music that has come true once again, this time in the form of Peat Week 14.y.o. (2002 Vintage) that follows on from a previous release The Balvenie, Peated Triple Cask 14y.o. back in July, solely for the travel market.
Peat Week was released exclusively to the UK, USA, Denmark and Sweden in September & joins their core range of products.
It comes after trials undertaken in 2001 by The Balvenie Malt Master David C. Stewart MBE and their former distillery manager Ian Millar.
It’s widely 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”. A process 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.
*Peat Week 2002 Vintage was distilled during week 37 of 52 in 2002.
As Highland peat is used it delivers different characteristics to the whisky compared to an Islay peat. Islay peat is renowned for it’s coastal elements of iodine, salt and medicinal notes. Highland peat infuses earthy, woody smoke notes to the whisky. Despite using a heavily peated malt, roughly 30ppm, it keeps it’s Speyside character with an unexpected sweetness.
– Details & Tasting Notes –
Maturation: American Oak
Limited (rare) release
NOSE: A rather gentle bit of peat smoke with some lighter floral notes and delicate butterscotch honey.
TASTE: Velvety and round to taste with the peat smoke that if you hold in the mouth you’ll begin to notice, balancing citrus flavours (pear + lemons), oak, vanilla and a honey.
FINISH: More gentle smoke with a creamy vanilla sweetness hanging around.
Comments: A peat monster it is not. The 30ppm malting is dropped to around 10-13ppm I’d say in the final bottling. A Highland smoke that I’d be keen on exploring a little more. Fan of The Balvenie? Then you need this in your bunker.
Until next time folks, keep safe & keep drinking whisk(e)y.
Over & out.
Jamie. Whiskey JAC.