The Balvenie has released in Singapore the final three expressions of its Cask Finishes range, The Balvenie Madeira Cask 15YO, The Balvenie French Oak Cask 16YO, and The Balvenie Pedro Ximénez 18YO.
Here are three new drops that should excite whisky lovers who like a taste of something less ordinary. Single malt Scotch whisky brand The Balvenie has released the final three expressions in its Balvenie Cask Finishes range in Singapore.
Those familiar with The Balvenie will know that its Malt Master David C. Stewart MBE was among the first – if not the first – to use cask finishes. This is a process where matured spirit is transferred into a different cask for further ageing to develop more complexity, and one that Stewart pioneered in the 1980s for the original 12YO Balvenie Classic.
Since then the Banffshire, Speyside-based distillery has continued to employ cask finishing for many of its whiskies, particularly the Balvenie DoubleWood 12YO, Caribbean Cask 14YO, and PortWood 21YO in what it now calls the Balvenie Cask Finishes collection.
But wait, there’s more. Extending – and completing – the Balvenie Cask Finishes collection are three expressions, The Balvenie Madeira Cask 15YO, The Balvenie French Oak Cask 16YO, and The Balvenie Pedro Ximénez 18YO.
The three expressions are an exploration of the different flavours that wine casks can have on whisky. Casks that once held richly sweet Pedro Ximénez sherry are commonly used in the making of Scotch whisky. Madeira is slightly less so; casks that once held this fortified wine have been used in, for example, the limited-edition Glenmorangie Bacalta released in Singapore back in 2017, or even Balvenie’s own 21YO Madeira from its travel retail range introduced in 2016.
Pineau casks, though? That’s not commonplace at all in Scotch whisky. For those not familiar with it, Pineau – or more accurately Pineau des Charentes – is a fortified wine made in France’s Charente region by blending Cognac with grape must or grape juice.
It is the first time The Balvenie is using Pineau casks in its 129 years of history. It may also be – we are almost certain – the first time any Scottish distillery has officially launched a commercially available whisky expression employing such casks.
Official Tasting Notes
The Balvenie Madeira Cask 15YO (43% ABV)
Several years of maturation in traditional American Oak whisky barrels imparts warming layers of honey and vanilla for our sweet signature honeyed core flavour. Finishing in Madeira casks increases complexity, bringing notes of fresh peaches, zing from oranges, and hazelnut.
Nose: Overlowing flavours 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.
Finish: Long lasting.
The Balvenie French Oak Cask 16YO (46.9% ABV)
Years of maturation in American Oak casks brings an abundance of vanilla spice and warm honey notes. Finishing in Pineau casks creates notes of energising grapefruit, geranium, glazed fruit and ginger.
Nose: Beautifully balanced light loral notes from lotus and geranium lowers dance between hints of fresh meadow grass and peeled apple skin.
Taste: An energizing zing from tangy lemon rind and grapefruit meet the delicate subtle sweetness of glazed fruits and spice from root ginger.
Finish: Refreshingly concise.
The Balvenie Pedro Ximénez Cask 18YO (48.7% ABV)
Many years of maturation in traditional American Oak whisky barrels mellows the maturing spirit and imparts warming layers of honey and vanilla. Finishing in Pedro Ximénez sherry butts creates a fusion of sweet lavender, mandarin, fig, and subtle clove.
Nose: A medley of lavours from raisin & bursting currants, intertwine oak and subtle clove, concealing smooth sweet lavender.
Taste: A modern classic fruit fusion of tart grape skin, mandarin & ig low together with vibrant oak to coat the mouth with a delicate oil and honeyed sweetness.
“The Balvenie’s Cask Finishes Range offers a unique range of rich and complex flavours, perfect for ardent lovers or newcomers who seek an exploration of whiskies like no other,” said Brett Bayly, Regional Brand Ambassador for The Balvenie South East Asia.
“We are especially excited to introduce three new cask finished whiskies, which complete the range of expressions encapsulating the heart and soul of the Balvenie,” Bayly added.
The Balvenie French Oak Cask 16YO is available on iShopChangi at S$390, as well as at selected 1855 The Bottle Shop outlets. The Balvenie Madeira Cask 15YO and The Balvenie Pedro Ximénez Cask 18YO are available exclusively at S$160 and S$270 respectively from travel retail airport stores in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, and more.
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