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- Item #: i_115383Bottle Size: 750mlInspired to produce an even fruitier, sweeter Balvenie, Apprentice Malt Master Kelsey McKechnie had the bright idea to import Virgin Oak barrels from Kentucky. After deep toasting at The Balvenie Cooperage the barrels were filled with Balvenie aged in ex-bourbon barrels. The result is a delectably complex whisky with notes of candied fruit, coconut and delicate vanilla.
As Head Cooper, Ian McDonald asserts: "We're adding extra life and flavor into the wood. After it's spent 6 weeks in transit from Kentucky to Dufftown, our signature Balvenie burn refreshes the wood, bringing out all the flavor, color, vanilla."
And then the wait begins. With a smile Kelsey explains: "In whisky nothing happens overnight." The toasted casks are filled with whisky aged primarily in ex-bourbon casks, before being laid down to mature for a few more months, a process known as 'cask finishing' and pioneered by Kelsey's mentor, David C Stewart. "In the glass this is a complex whisky with incandescent notes of caramelised fruits, delicate vanilla and oak."
The classic Balvenie flavor is enhanced by even stronger, sweeter coconut and warm honey notes. It has taken on a really amazing fruity flavor and the color is really rich.
AGED 12 YEARS
Nose - Lusciously malty with some sweet fudge, followed by citrusy and oak vanilla aromas with layers of spicy oak notes of ginger and cinnamon.
Taste - Candied orange and lemon peel, vanilla toffee and butterscotch, layers of blossom honey, some melted brown sugar and oak spices at the end.
Finish - Rich and malty with gentle waves of oak vanilla and subtle spices. Once the barrels safely arrive on Scottish soil, the pre-toasted casks are given an extra deep toast in The Balvenie Cooperage to drive the heat further into the wood and bring out as much flavor as possible.
- Item #: i_115384Bottle Size: 750mlEager to experiment with The Balvenie profile using what he had learned from a recent trip to Islay, distillery manager Ian Millar ordered a batch of Speyside peat for the kiln. For one week a year, The Balvenie distills a batch of peated malt, resulting in a whisky rich in honey, vanilla and citrus notes with an extra layer of delicate smokiness.
This story begins with distillery manager Ian Millar's eagle eye spotting a week's gap in the distillery schedule. Eager to experiment with The Balvenie profile using what he had learned from a recent trip to Islay, he ordered a batch of Speyside peat for the kiln and built a peat burner on the side 'for, well, extra peatiness'.
Ian continues: "In a way, The Week of Peat was nothing new. In fact, arguably, it's the only week of the year we make whisky the way it used to be made – using smoke from a heavily peated furnace, like in the very old days when every farm burned peat from the land (and made whisky in a pot over the fire, it's worth remembering)."
"We took our inspiration from some of the Islay distilleries. No one on Speyside was doing it like this when we started. Essentially, given the maltings is a big tool for experimentation you can really work with it. So on our return we started to try a few different approaches, one change at a time, to fully understand the impact each change made – patience was required."
"We got our peat from the north-east Speyside village of New Pitsligo, close to Fraserburgh. I helped muck in with the guys in the maltings, shuffling the extra-heavy peat into the kiln with big shovels. We added a peat-burner to the side of the kiln. We tried the burner in the early days allowed us to get levels similar to Laphroaig and Ardbeg, 30 parts per million phenols. Clearly the more we tried, the greater our confidence in peating our own malted barley."
"The first time we did it there was a real buzz on site – engineers, coppersmiths and other team members came and had a look as they had never experienced the production of peated, malted barley before."
"In the mash house there was a beautiful smell of porridge, sweet honey and gentle smoke; it was good enough to bottle!"
AGED 14 YEARS
Nose - Gentle sweet peat smoke, lighter floral notes and delicate butterscotch honey.
Taste - Velvety and round to taste with the peat smoke balancing citrus flavours, oaky vanilla and blossom honey.
Finish - Gentle smoke with a lingering and creamy vanilla sweetness.
- Item #: i_102120Bottle Size: 750MLThe Balvenie 12 Year Double Wood. Aged in traditional whisky oak casks and then finished in Sherry Casks.
Nose: Sherry and orange skins. Fragrant.
Palate: Beautifully combined mellow flavours: nutty, sweet, sherry, very orangy fruitiness, heather, cinnamon spiciness.
Finish: Smoky and a little spicy with a bigger vanilla tang.
- Item #: i_102627Bottle Size: 750mlThe Balvenie is a unique range of single malts created by David Stewart, The Balvenie Malt Master. Each has its own unique taste, but each is rich, luxuriously smooth and underpinned by the distinctively honeyed character of The Balvenie.
The exceptional quality of The Balvenie is attributable to the unique craftsmanship retained by The Balvenie Distillery. Nowhere else will you find a distillery that still grows its own barley, malts in its own traditional floor maltings, employs a team of coopers to tend its casks, a coppersmith to maintain its stills and has in its service the most experienced Malt Master in Scotland.
New for 2013, this Single Barrel expression from The Balvenie has been aged for 12 years in a first fill Bourbon cask of a single distillation. While each cask is subtly different, The Balvenie Malt Master hand selects only those casks characterized by sweetness and subtle vanilla oak to be bottled as The Balvenie Single Barrel. Each bottling forms a limited edition of no more than 300 hand-numbered bottles drawn from a single cask, making each bottle unique and unrepeatable. The Balvenie Single Barrel, 12 Year Old is non chill-filtered and is bottled at the higher strength of 47.8% ABV.
- Item #: i_102140Bottle Size: 750mlCaribbean Cask has been matured in traditional oak whisky casks for 14 years, and then ‘finished’ in casks that previously held Caribbean rum. To create the ideal finish, Malt Master David Stewart filled American oak casks with his own blend of select West Indian rums. When he judged the casks to be ready, the rum was replaced with the 14 year old spirit and the wood was put to work adding the final touches. The result is an exceptional single malt whisky with the traditional smooth, honeyed character of The Balvenie, married with notes of toffee and a hint of fruit, with a warm, lingering finish.
NOSE - Rich, sweet and creamy toffee on the nose combines with fresh fruit notes
TASTE - Rounded with vanilla and sweet oak notes, with a fruity character that develops with time
FINISH - Soft and lingering
- Item #: i_162141Bottle Size: 750MLBALVENIE 21YR PORTWOOD FINISHED
Nose: Very aromatic and balanced sherry fruits. Raisins. Hints of water-melon, white pepper. Honey and oak.
Palate: Great depth and balance, again. Quite full-bodied, slightly oily and a great many flavours unfolding.
Finish: Long and lingering.
- Item #: i_168009Bottle Size: 750MLBenromach 10 Years Old is a multi-award winning Single Malt Scotch Whisky hand-crafted at Speyside's smallest working distillery. Initially matured in a mix of Bourbon and Sherry casks, the whisky is transferred to European oak Oloroso Sherry casks for a final period of maturation. The result is a beautifully balanced dram, displaying a rich Sherry character, summer fruit flavours, malt creaminess and a light peat smoke influence.
AROMA WITHOUT WATER
Rich Sherry influence with fruit & nut chocolate and delicate spice - cinnamon. Fresh green apples, with a malty, digestive biscuit note and light peat smoke in the background.
TASTE WITHOUT WATER
Delicious forest fruits - raspberries and brambles, Sherry, malt creaminess with a stronger peat influence.
AROMA WITH WATER
Charred oak influence and malt. Slightly nutty with exotic fruits - pineapple and kiwi.
TASTE WITH WATER
Mouth coating with toasted malt. Lingering sweet Sherry and delicate peat smoke.
- Item #: i_105577Bottle Size: 750mlNamed after a breed of Highland cattle known for their resistance to the hectic weather of Scotland, the Black Bull Kyloe is just as robust and reliable as those lovely cows (and significantly less hairy). A brilliant blended whisky with a high ratio of malt to grain and bottled without chill-filtration at 50% abv.
Nose: Syrup sweetness and warmth, with fruity hints of apples and pears and a touch of oak spice.
Palate: Soft notes of plump raisins and nuts. Milk chocolate comes through.
Finish: A fairly long finish, rich with vanilla.
Overall: A very fine addition to the Black Bull stable (Get it? Stable? Cows? I'll let myself out.).