Once upon a time

Once upon a time

The Balvenie celebrates the power of the story

News | 07 Jun 2019 | Issue 160 | By Rob Allanson

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Speyside stalwart, The Balvenie, has launched a collection of three single malt whiskies representing tales of character, endeavour and craft, created at its home in Dufftown, Scotland.

The distillery and brand prides itself on remaining true to the techniques passed down by its craftsmen from generation to generation. As in years past, it remains a place run by people – where human touch, skill, and emotion prevail over machine and automation. In this way, each whisky produced by The Balvenie tells a human story, evolving with the characters and developing unexpected twists through years of maturation.

These three new expressions of The Balvenie celebrate this – whether it be apprentice malt master Kelsey McKechnie, using Kentucky virgin oak to make a fruitier Balvenie, former distillery manager Ian Millar, introducing smoke from Speyside peat, or malt master David Stewart MBE using an unusually brittle barley – each expression tells its own tale in liquid form. 

Drinkers will have the opportunity to hear these stories in full, as told by the characters themselves, via audio conversations recorded between them and The Balvenie global ambassador, Gemma Paterson. These special conversations were recorded at locations featured in each tale, including 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, is available via an NFC-enabled neck tag, that people connect to using their smartphones.

Commenting on the release, David Stewart said: “Stories are the lifeblood of The Balvenie distillery. They make up the fabric of who we are and what we do. The Balvenie Stories collection tells these tales in liquid form, giving whisky drinkers across the globe a special glimpse into the very human nature of how we produce our whisky. Each expression in the collection reflects this by telling its own story via first-hand accounts and recollections of the many people involved.”

Following the liquid launch, in autumn 2019 The Balvenie will launch 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, this 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.
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