“Stories are the lifeblood of The Balvenie distillery,” comments David Stewart MBE, The Balvenie Malt Master. “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.”
Featuring three expressions in the new range, the collection of three single malts will consist of the following:
- The Sweet Toast of American Oak – Aged 12 Years – 43% ABV
This expression is the story of the spectacular things that can happen when ancient technique meets fresh ideas, as newly appointed Apprentice Malt Master Kelsey McKechnie experimented with twice-charred white American oak from Kelvin Cooperage in Louisville, Kentucky to produce an even fruitier, sweeter tasting Balvenie.
- The Week of Peat – Aged 14 Years – 48.3% ABV
This expression is an evolution of The Balvenie Peat Week Aged 14 Years, which launched globally in 2017. The expression tells the tale of Malt Master David Stewart MBE and former distillery manager Ian Millar using a week’s gap in the distillery’s production schedule to experiment with the use of peat in the barley drying process, having sampled various ages since 2002. The result is a classic Balvenie expression with honey, vanilla and citrus notes with an extra layer of delicate smokiness.
- A Day of Dark Barley – Aged 26 Years – 47.8% ABV
This expression is the story of Malt Master David Stewart MBE and The Balvenie’s malt men experimenting with a heavily roasted dark barley in 1992. The resulting liquid was originally released in 2006 as the 14-Year-Old Balvenie Roasted Malt, however casks were retained for extra maturation, eventually becoming a classic aged Balvenie, but with extra depth and oak notes gleaned from the darker malt.
The new range label and packaging celebrate the intersectionality of art and storytelling via bespoke illustrations by British artist and printmaker Andy Lovell. Lovell’s work draws inspiration directly from the distillery where he spent time listening to the stories first-hand before using his bold, hand-made gestural technique to build up images that capture the essence of each tale.
Storytelling, in its audio form, are also a core element of the launch of The Balvenie Stories collection. Consumers will have the opportunity to hear the stories of each expression in full via audio conversations recorded with The Balvenie Global Ambassador Gemma Paterson. These special conversations were recorded at locations significant to the narrative of each tale, including at The Balvenie distillery and as far afield as Kelvin Cooperage, Kentucky, where Kelsey McKechnie sourced virgin oak barrels for The Sweet Toast of American Oak. This audio content, as well as guided audio whisky tastings of each expression with David Stewart and Kelsey McKechnie, will be available via an NFC-enabled tag on the bottle that connects to smartphones (designed in partnership with connected product solutions company Thinfilm). Audio tasting notes and recorded stories will also be available in podcast format and hosted on podcast platforms, Amazon Alexa and Google Home.
“While always looking forward, The Balvenie continues to celebrate the traditional techniques passed down by its craftsmen from generation to generation,” comments Jamie Johnson, Canadian Brand Ambassador, The Balvenie. “The new Balvenie Stories collection demonstrates this intersectionality of old and new, the past and present.”
Following the launch of the new Stories range this Fall in select markets in Canada, The Balvenie will also be launching a book titled “Pursuit: The Balvenie Stories Collection”. Edited by award-winning author and journalist Alex Preston and published by internationally renowned independent publisher Canongate, Pursuit – The Balvenie Stories Collection will contain a series of fiction and non-fiction short stories, by renowned writers from around the world. Authors include internationally best-selling writer Lawrence Osbourne, award-winning British author Max Porter and many more. “Pursuit: The Balvenie Stories Collection will be sold online, in bookstores and at The Balvenie distillery in Dufftown.
The Balvenie Stories collection will be available at select retailers in in Canada in the Fall of 2019. Additional information regarding availability to follow.
For press information regarding The Balvenie in Canada, please visit TheBalvenie.alchemystsinc.com.
For additional information about The Balvenie worldwide, please visit www.thebalvenie.com.