Not so far from Dufftown in the center of Speyside, right in the mecca of whisky, you will find The Balvenie. One of the few distilleries which still has its own malting integrated in the production. The Balvenie is one of the Grant family’s three distilleries and was founded in 1892. The responsibility for the whiskeys has been put in the capable hands of David Stewart and Brian Kinsman.
A visit at The Balvenie takes almost 5 hours, but one will get around the entire malting process, the fermentation, the distillation and then see how the casks are worked with. The trips between the halls with the casks, where if one sticks out a hand and can taste cask-tests from different new and older vintages from different cask-types, is an experience. It is an experience far from the standardized tourist-version, which one might often run into.
Today the house is especially known for its outstanding malt, where a minor part is dried with peat, which gives the smoky characteristic style. Additionally, they have their own
cooperage, where casks, which have previously been used for sherry, port, rum and madeira-production, are reused. One senses that the casks mean a lot for the style and a lot of experimentation goes into toast-gradient and different types of used casks.
Owner: Region/district: William Grant & Sons Speyside
Founded: Status: Capacity:
1892 Active (vc) 5 600 000 litres
Address: Dufftown, Keith,
Banffshire AB55 4DH
01340 820373 www.thebalvenie.com
1892 – William Grant rebuilds Balvenie New House to Balvenie Distillery (Glen Gordon was the name originally intended). Part of the equipment is brought in from Lagavulin and Glen Albyn.
1893 – The first distillation takes place in May.
1957 – The two stills are increased by another two.
1965 – Two new stills are installed.
1971 – Another two stills are installed and eight stills are now running.
1973 – The first official bottling appears.
1982 – Founder’s Reserve, in an eye-catching Cognac-reminiscent bottle, is launched.
1990 – A new distillery, Kininvie, is opened on the premises.
1996 – Two vintage bottlings and a Port wood finish are launched.
2001 – The Balvenie Islay Cask, with 17 years in bourbon casks and six months in Islay casks, is released.
2002 – Balvenie releases 83 bottles of a 50 year old that has been in sherry casks since January 1952. Recommended price £6,000 a bottle.
2004 – The Balvenie Thirty is released to commemorate Malt Master David Stewart’s 30th anniversary at Balvenie.
2005 – The Balvenie Rum Wood Finish 14 years old is released.
2006 – The Balvenie New Wood 17 years old, Roasted Malt 14 years old and Portwood 1993 are released.
2007 – Vintage Cask 1974 and Sherry Oak 17 years old are released.
2008 – Signature, Vintage 1976, Balvenie Rose and Rum Cask 17 year old are released.
2009 – Vintage 1978, 17 year old Madeira finish, 14 year old rum finish and Golden Cask 14 years old are released.
2010 – A 40 year old, Peated Cask and Carribean Cask are released.
2011 – The second batch of Tun 1401 is released.
The above timeline is a quote from Malt Whisky Year Book, written by author Ingvar Ronde, we thank you for your inspirational work -