Monday, October 29, 2012

A taste of something special – The Balvenie 50yo

There is something special coming to Australia in early January. A very exclusive and seriously limited release of The Balvenie 50yo will make an appearance in Australia with only 2 official bottles gracing our shores and only 88 bottles released world wide. Estimated uncut street value for this whisky comes in at a slight $30,000.00 AU.

This release also marks the celebrated achievement honour of 50 years service by Scotch Malt Master David Stewart. David is classed as "one of the most respected craftsmen in his field". Comments by David Stewart on the release of this 50yo are:

“Cask 5576 and I have shared the last five decades together at The Balvenie Distillery and as single malt making is as much art and alchemy as precise science, the interaction between wood and maturing whisky means each cask will produce something entirely unique. It’s true to say I have a dream job and I’ve been privileged to taste a lot of  wonderful whisky in my time, but it’s a great delight to discover how after half a century this unique cask has turned out a truly special single malt.”


Current release notes for this limited edition whisky give it an alcohol percentage of 44.1% and was matured in a European oak sherry hogshead. It is said to have a nose of "fragrant and floral with fruit and oak lusciously intermingled. Citrus notes of lemons and orange peel are followed by honey and vanilla and finally a gentle hint of cinnamon and subtle oak. Its taste is velvety sweet and wonderfully soft, fruit and citrus notes are accompanied by a beautiful outburst of cinnamon and nutmeg and a subtle back note of honey, all balanced with oak. The finish is velvety smooth with a delicious citrus sweetness". Clearly we have not tasted this ourselves but it certainly sounds splendid.

At $30,000.00 AU a bottle even nosing the whisky will be costing you money and maybe the most expensive sniff you ever take. It is interesting to know how these prices are actually established but I guess we will never know. Certainly the risk of leaving whisky in a cask that long means a lot of delicate care as well as some real attention to quality of the wood being selected. I can only imagine a holder of this rare whisky on opening the bottle, taking a long deep sniff then holding in indefinitely, only taking short exhales before breathing back in ever so quickly less the angels take that share as well. A real Cheech and Chong moment I am sure.

As to where these bottles will be on sale, if even they actually see the light of day, is yet for all to be seen. Like a rare wave to the crowd by the pope you will probably be craning your neck in anticipation of a moments glimpse of the graced hand before it passes back into the confines of a bullet proofed glassed box.

The Baron

Information quoted in this post has been provided to us as an official media release by Weber Shandwick on behalf of The Balvenie. Thanks for the tip off.