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Balvenie Unveils Three New Cask-Finished Whiskies

The Balvenie Distillery has added to its Cask Finishes range, with two of the expressions launching exclusively to Global Travel Retail on April 1st.

The new whiskies feature what’s described as the Speyside distillery’s honeyed character, and dive deeper into flavor using Malt Master David Stewart’s finishing process he pioneered back in 1982.

Noted as being inspired by flavors of the wine making regions of Europe, the new global retail expressions feature finishing casks from Madeira and Pedro Ximénez from Jerez, as well as Pineau from the French Charentes vineyards for the domestic offering.

The Balvenie Pedro Ximénez Cask Aged 18 Years
The Balvenie Pedro Ximénez Cask Aged 18 Years (image via The Balvenie)

Malt Master Stewart said in a prepared statement, “It’s no secret that I enjoy sweet wines like Madeira and when introduced to Pineau, I was instantly impressed by the flavor profile and interested to see what these casks would bring to The Balvenie.”

Charles Metcalfe, Global Brand Ambassador for The Balvenie, said the Pineau casks are a rare sight in the Scotch whisky industry, and here they’ve paired with the Balvenie spirit, adding orchard fruits and a citrusy zing.

“The extra sweetness and richness from the Pedro Ximenez cask adds a lovely, rich weight to the palette of our 18 Year Old, with all of those delicious dark fruits coming through,” he added.

The Madeira Cask 15 Year Old is a single malt finished in casks which previously held sweet Madeira wine. Having used casks from the volcanic island for older whiskies in the past, a recent holiday there reignited Stewart’s passion for Madeira’s versatile dessert wine and complex casks.

Throughout the cask’s journey, it was exposed to the heat of the sun, naturally sweetening the wine it held, and in turn leading to the creation of what’s described as a light and lively whisky.

The second sherry finish for the Cask Finishes range is The Balvenie Pedro Ximénez Cask Aged 18 Years. The sweet wine from the Pedro Ximénez casks gets its intensity from the sun-ripened vines, making what’s said to be a sweet fusion for The Balvenie’s signature honeyed core.

Both expressions will be listed by all key retailers through major airports including Hainan, Seoul Incheon and Jeju Taoyuan in Asia. In Europe, the whisky will be in airports that include Amsterdam Schiphol, Frankfurt, Berlin, Budapest, Copenhagen, Vienna and Munich.

Lindsay Hitzeroth, customer marketing for Global Travel Retail, said, “The channel has always been about discovery, offering consumers the opportunity to find something new and different, yet with the confidence of brand knowledge and integrity. As travel now begins to show real recovery in the aftermath of Covid, we will continue to inspire and engage consumers with The Balvenie 15yo Madeira Cask and 18 yo Pedro Ximénez Cask, both delivering the quality of liquid and iconic appeal that luxury shoppers will be searching for.”

Distiller’s notes:

The Balvenie Madeira Cask Aged 15 Years

  • Nose: Overflowing flavors of blackcurrants and brambles slowly layer upon gingery syrup and delicate spice.
  • Taste: Ripe fruitiness from fresh peaches lead to a citrus orange zing, hazelnuts and crisp oakiness coating the pallet.
  • ABV: 43%
  • First Cask: Several years of maturation in traditional American oak whisky barrels imparts warming layers of honey and vanilla for our sweet signature honeyed core flavor.
  • Second Cask: Finishing in Madeira casks increases complexity, bringing notes of fresh peaches, oranges zing and hazelnut.

The Balvenie Pedro Ximénez Cask Aged 18 Years

  • Nose: A medley of flavors from raisin and bursting currants, intertwine oak and subtle clove, concealing smooth sweet lavender.
  • Taste: A modern classic fruit fusion of tart grape skin, mandarin and fig flow together with oak to coat the mouth with a delicate oil and honeyed sweetness.
  • ABV: 48.7%
  • First Cask: Many years of maturation in traditional American oak whisky barrels mellows the maturing spirit and imparts warming layers of honey and vanilla.
  • Second Cask: Finishing in Pedro Ximénez sherry butts creates a fusion of sweet lavender, mandarin, fig and subtle clove.

The Balvenie French Oak Cask Aged 16 Years

  • Nose: Balanced light floral notes from lotus and geranium flowers dance between hints of fresh meadow grass and peeled apple skin.
  • Taste: A zing from tangy lemon rind and grapefruit meet the delicate subtle sweetness of glazed fruits and spice from root ginger.
  • ABV: 47.6%
  • First Cask: Years of maturation in American Oak casks brings an abundance of vanilla spice and warm honey notes.
  • Second Cask: Finishing in Pineau casks creates notes of energizing grapefruit, geranium, glazed fruit and ginger.

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