Balvenie DCS Compendium Chapter Two revealed
Speyside single malt Balvenie has unveiled Chapter Two of its DCS Compendium, a limited edition collection of five stunning whiskies with a price tag of £20,000.
The collection, created by Balvenie malt master David Stewart MBE, has been given the title ‘The Influence of Oak’, and aims to chart the diversity in the single malt’s character following maturation in different casks.
David pioneered double cask maturation or finishing during a 54-year career at The Balvenie, a legacy most notably fulfilled in The Balvenie 12 YO DoubleWood. This chapter showcases his vast knowledge and unrivalled expertise in understanding this process, which he has harnessed to craft whiskies of exceptional quality.
The whiskies in The Balvenie DCS Compendium Chapter Two range in age from 15 years to 43 years and were taken from different cask types, including; European oak Oloroso sherry butts, first fill American oak bourbon barrels, European oak port puncheon and European oak Pedro Ximénez sherry butt – with each barrel imparting their own distinct flavour profile to the final expression.
David said: “As a Malt Master, I’m very lucky to have been trusted to experiment with different cask finishes and even try out my own techniques to see how they effect the distinctive honeyed characteristics of The Balvenie. Understanding how the oak and the previous spirit, or fortified wine held by the cask influences the whisky is a very important part of my job.
“This chapter highlights the complexity of flavours each expression takes from wood. I love the results from the older Oloroso sherry butt, which has produced a whisky with a fantastic floral and fruity nose, followed by a wonderful honeyed sweetness. The whisky taken from the 2001 Pedro Ximénez sherry butt is unusual, it shows The Balvenie as a near liqueur with toffee sweetness and a touch of spicy ginger.”
Chapter Two is available to buy as a set, complete with display case, for £20,000, or as individual bottles. Fifty sets are available globally.
The five whiskies in Chapter Two are:
1972 Aged 43 years – Cask 13134, European oak Oloroso sherry butt, filled 31st October 1972, 52.4% ABV
1990 Aged 25 years – Cask 2790, European oak Oloroso sherry butt, filled 3rd October 1990, 59.6% ABV
1990 Aged 26 years – Cask 7359, First fill American oak bourbon barrel, filled 1st May 1990, 52.9% ABV
1997 Aged 19 years – Cask 7951, European oak port puncheon, filled 6th August 1997, 61.8% ABV
2001 Aged 15 Years – Cask 9328, European oak Pedro Ximénez sherry butt, filled 25th April 2001, 62.3% ABV
Chapter Three, which will be released in 2017, will be themed on ‘Secrets of the Stock Model’, while the final two chapters will be named ‘Expecting the Unexpected’ and ‘Malt Master’s Indulgence’.