The Balvenie, today announces The Balvenie Sixty, a single cask bottling from 1962, marking the distillery’s oldest and rarest whisky released for sale to date. The extremely rare bottling marks the anniversary1 of industry icon and renowned Malt Master, David C. Stewart MBE, who is celebrating six decades at the distillery – making him the longest serving Malt Master in industry history2.
Throughout his time at The Balvenie, David C. Stewart MBE has developed unrivalled knowledge and pioneered techniques that have had a profound impact on the whisky making processes used today; most notably his developments around ‘cask finishes’, which led to a new way of creating flavour in whisky and a tehnicque adopted in whisky making the world over.
A fitting tribute to David’s esteemed career, this single cask was selected by The Balvenie’s Kelsey McKechnie, who has been mentored by Stewart for the past four years. “I have learned so much from David at work. His mentorship has made a profound impact on me and finding a cask to fit such an incredible character in the Distillery’s history is a great honour.”
The cask selected is complex, vibrant and lively. Described by Kelsey “on the nose the whisky has a mesmerising array of autumnal aromas; lavender, heather and bracken. Whilst rich toffee, roasted coffee and beautifully layered oak dominate the palate. The flavour evolves with time revealing bursts of cloves, nutmeg, charred oak and candied orange in an exceptional long lasting finish”
Malt Master David C. Stewart MBE commented: “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. For six decades it has rested and matured, now marking quite a poignant moment for me on my journey.’’
While the whisky itself makes an impression, the packaging resembles 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.
It is a perfectly layered, ethereal take on a lifetime of memories justly representing the significance of David’s career to The Balvenie and the whisky industry at large.