The Balvenie’s latest Rare Marriages whiskies dispel the notion that there can be too much of a good thing.
The Scotch whisky brand has unveiled a 30- and 40-year-old expression that pay testament to malt master David C. Stewart’s nose for blending rare casks together to create The Balvenie’s classic profile woven together with layers of flavours.
“It’s the signature honey character dialled up to ten,” said The Balvenie regional brand ambassador for Southeast Asia, Brett Bayly during a launch earlier this month.
The new Rare Marriages single malts, which follow a 25-year-old expression released last year, are part of the brand’s core range. They are named after whiskies that have been aged in American and European oak barrels – what The Balvenie calls “rare casks” – then combined together in large vessels called marrying tuns.
Single malt featuring two or more casks are common today, but it is a relatively new process pioneered by Stewart in 1983. Blending them together also requires finesse and experience, and the series pay tribute to Stewart’s ability to do that.
“There are few whiskies that embody the true craft and heart of David like the Rare Marriages range,” Bayly said. “The way each cask has been brought together is an incredibly intricate process and takes true skill and intuition. The result is something very special and one that speaks to the true heart of what The Balvenie stands for – flavours that are seemingly simple, yet incredibly complex.”
The 30-year-old wears The Balvenie’s heart most strongly on its sleeve. The aroma is an ocean of honey, with notes of candied orange peel and toast flashing by. On the palate, it becomes rich dark chocolate sprinkled with green apple, almond, and plum. The finish is long and smooth, almost without a burn, with a lingering sweetness that comes from licking honey off a spoon.
Side by side, the 25-year-old is livelier, delivering honeyed notes of candied ginger, vanilla, cinnamon with a sweet-spicy finish. There was no chance to try the 40-year-old – supply is highly limited – but the company described it as “richly sweet and defined” with “intense honeyed oak and rich fruit.”
Prices were not announced during the local release, but judging by The Balvenie Rare Marriages 25-year-old, the 30- and 40-year-old should start around the upper-four figures. Register interest to purchase by visiting since1887.sg.
(Hero and feature images credit: The Balvenie)