The Balvenie claims it’s their first use of French Oak casks in the company’s 129-year history, with the aim to embody the distillery’s signature honeyed character. With an ABV of 46.9%, the French Oak is available to purchase now from Clink
and select retailers, with an RRP of £123.
The producer has described the nose as having notes of balanced light floral with lotus and geranium flowers, with an energizing tangy lemon mouthfeel accompanied by the sweetness of glazed fruits and a refreshingly concise finish.
The Balvenie’s UK Brand Ambassador Alwynne Gwilt said on the release: “With the release of our new French Oak 16-Year-Old, we are exploring yet another world of flavour through the incredible cask finishing process which our malt master of nearly 60 years, David C. Stewart MBE, pioneered decades ago. It’s incredible to watch the flavours unfurl in a new way with the addition of these Pineau de Charantes casks and showcases that the skill it takes to continue innovating is deep within our ethos of staying true to being a maker at heart.”
After years of maturation inside American Oak casks, the whisky finishes in Pineau casks to help bring out those energising notes. The creation is inspired by the many European travels of The Balvenie’s team, particularly the exploration of Pineau from the French Charentes vineyards.
Anna Austin, wood buyer at William Grant & Sons, commented regarding the casks: “Our casks have been used to season Red Pineau des Charantes, and all have a variety of different histories. The complexity of their journey to The Balvenie is what brings the depth of flavour to our whisky. By working closely with specialist wine cask suppliers who source the casks from some very special French wineries, we know we can deliver on the highest quality we strive for in our craft.”
The 16-year-old French Oak joins Balvenie’s two new variants of cask finished whiskies - Madeira cask 15-year-old and PX Sherry Cask 18-year-old – alongside its other more established liquids.