The Balevnie’s Malt Master, David C. Stewart MBE, this year is celebrating six decades at the distillery – making him what’s said to be the longest serving Malt Master in industry history. To honor this, the distillery recently unveiled a single cask bottling from 1962.
The Balvenie Sixty, according to those behind it, is said to be the the distillery’s oldest and rarest whisky released for sale to date. It was selected by The Balvenie’s Kelsey McKechnie, who has been mentored by Stewart for the past four years. Of the cask itself, it is described by Kelsey as “complex, vibrant and lively” and “on the nose the whisky has a mesmerizing array of autumnal aromas; lavender, heather and bracken. Whilst rich toffee, roasted coffee and beautifully layered oak dominate the palate.
“The flavor evolves with time revealing bursts of cloves, nutmeg, charred oak and candied orange in an exceptional long lasting finish.”
“I started at the distillery in 1962, as a whisky stocks clerk, this liquid; a new make spirit was filled into a collection of traditional European Oak Hogshead casks,” said Stewart in a prepared statement. “For six decades it has rested and matured, now marking quite a poignant moment for me on my journey.”
As with any whisky this rare – only 71 bottles are being released globally – the packaging aims to be extremely super premium. To that end, it is described as resembling “a work of art; made from glass, gold and brass. The tube casing was designed to reflect layers of memories from David’ career. With five layers each etched with personal anecdotes from influential individuals along David’s journey. The sixth decade is the elegant bottle itself, made from hand-blown crystal and containing a quote from Kelsey McKechnie to represent this current decade, and the future generations of The Balvenie.”
The Balvenie Sixty ABV is 42.4%, with a suggested retail price of $145,000. It will be available in the U.S. in 2023 in extremely limited quantities.
Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and...