Cask finished whisky innovator The Balvenie has added three new expressions to its flagship range, one featuring a barrel the brand has never used before.
The Speyside distillery has updated its series with the Madeira Cask aged 15 years, French Oak Cask aged 16 years, and Pedro Ximénez aged 18 years, which join the existing lineup that includes the popular Doublewood and Caribbean Cask single malts.
Cask finished whiskies involves taking liquid matured in one barrel for a long period and moving it into a different barrel for a shorter time to add a different layer of flavour. While the process is common now, it was The Balvenie‘s Malt Master David C. Stewart MBE who pioneered the first commercial release in 1982.
The 16-year-old French Oak Cask, however, takes the distillery into new territory. For the first time in its 129-year-old history, the brand matured their whisky for six months in barrels that previously held red pineau des Charentes, a fortified wine aperitif from the southwestern Charente region. Bottled at 46.9 percent ABV, it is as bright as a beach day, with flavours of lemon zest, freshly grated ginger, and butter biscuit, with the same notes carrying over to its energising finish.
Slightly younger is the 15-years-old Madeira Cask. While The Balvenie has released a similar bottle at 21 years old, this one is more vibrant than its older sibling, delivering honey, vanilla, delicate spice, and a lively acidity. Conversely, the Pedro Ximénez Cask aged 18 years is lusher, serving up figs, apple strudel, and brown sugar with a rich finish. All three whiskies were initially aged in American oak.
The Balvenie French Oak Cask aged 16 years is available on iShopChangi and selected 1855 The Bottle Shop outlets. The Madeira Cask aged 15 years and Pedro Ximénez Cask aged 18 years are available exclusively at travel retail airport stores in Singapore.