Posted 23 August 2017

How much of a whisky’s flavour comes from the influence of the cask it has been matured in? Dr Bill Lumsden of Glenmorangie is famously quoted in suggesting that 60% is the answer to this question. But, you don’t have to spend long on the Internet to find myriad other differing answers. Last week, I saw Irish bottler proposing (quite authoritatively, but with no evidence provided of course) that 80% was of course the answer. Regardless, all within the whisky industry would posit that the flavour of whisky is primarily derived from a combination of spirit and cask. This brings us onto the concept of cask finishing.

Posted 28 July 2017

A tun is a very large oak vat used to blend together different casks of whiskies. Most whisky, unless single cask, is a marriage of some description, however Balvenie’s Master Blender David Steward has been using his tuns to push the boundaries of blending further than most. The 1401 tun is a particularly large vessel of 2000 litres capacity, that Stewart used to produce nine different complex marriages for Balvenie’s 1401 Tun series. The Tun bottlings are pretty legendary with whisky fans - earlier batches have sold for many times their original retail price on the secondary market. As it’s a Friday, I think we’re due a treat, so we’ll take a look at the penultimate 1401 bottling – batch #8.

Posted 21 September 2017

Since 2002, Balvenie have spent one week of each year using Highland peat to dry their barley. The result of this is now available for us all to enjoy in the form of ‘Peat Week’. Although, whilst peated to a level of 30ppm, you might consider this to be heavily peated release, the use of both highland peat (as opposed to Islay peat) and the bottling ppm of closer to 5, both indicate that rather than a punchy iodine packed peat-fest, we should be expecting something a little more delicate.


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