Friday, May 30, 2008

Malt Mission 2008 #297

Balvenie
Balvenie Signature 12 yo
Speyside Single Malt Whisky

40% abv

£29


NOMINATED in the 2008 DRAMMIES
*Bang for Buck
*Best New Product
Vote HERE (before Mar 6, 2009)

Launched in April in the UK this is Balvenie's newest product. Come autumn 2008, this Balvenie Signature will be available in selected markets globally to commemorate the forty-five (45!!!) years that Malt Master David Stewart has been with William Grant and Sons. Over the next short while I will be drinking The Balvenie to commemorate something as well.

At some point in the near future I will be taking up a position with William Grant and Sons as the Balvenie Brand Ambassador USA. There are few whisky companies I could proudly work for and the Scottish and family-owned WGS is one of them. I have known folks involved in the company for years and everyone I have met since being offered this job has been totally lovely, friendly, and supportive. Further, Balvenie is an outstanding hand-crafted whisky that maintains traditional production methods while being innovative with cask management and product development. Finally, the stuff tastes great. Doublewood was the first single malt I consciously saved up precious pounds to buy (it was £4 off at OddBins). I couldn't be happier to represent this stuff professionally.

But the problem is that now, suddenly, all that confessional fluff above could easily sound like marketing speak and that is the last thing I want to be present on Dr. Whisky. It always has been. That shit doesn't belong here and every distiller or bottler who has sent me samples has been aware that their drops are subject to my objective and honest critique/analysis/tasting notes, etc., no matter how many bottles they send me or product launches they invite me to. I have worked for various companies over the lifespan of Dr. Whisky and still been able to maintain objectivity. That doesn't mean you will trust me and I guess I could have continued and just said nothing about this. Oh well.

Although this site is well aware of its value as a whisky marketing tool (I often call myself a whiskevangelist) there will be no marketing bullshit on Dr. Whisky. Dr. Whisky will continue to represent all of god's own heavenly spirit but Sam Simmons will represent Balvenie professionally. So I will shut up. In fact, Dr. Whisky will shut up about Balvenie forever.

But before he does that and before I am on contract with the company and thus obliged not to say anything bad about their whiskies, I need to post on all the Balvenies I have tasted before my objectivity is legally stripped away from me and I officially become the Balvenie Bloke (very different than the Balvenie Guy... I will not wear bowties nor drink Balvenie in tumblers or on ice.)*

I can't wait for the supportive comments and/or hate mail. Bring it on. I am not scared.

For all Balvenie had on the mission click HERE.

*- note, I am not forbidden from expressing honest opinions about any other whiskies, just urged (legally) not to write anything negative about Balvenie, effective soon.

TASTING NOTES:

Not unlike the 10yo Founder's Reserve (discontinued come 2009) in its restrained richness with orange oil, honey, a touch of smoke, and a slight sherry influence of dried fruits.

Mellow and fruity. Some kind of spiciness, too. Toasty, vanilla-ed and laundry fresh, with a medium short finish of oak and outdoorsy spice.

SUMMARY:

Compact and complex, although pinpointing particular flavours is a challenge as they are all bound up in eachother. The kind of well-constructed whisky that reveals a new aroma, taste or impression every sip. The 18% sherry casks used in this whisky make their mark, but gently, like the Founder's Reserve (Malt Mission #113). Available in small releases, who knows how each batch will vary?

Malt Mission #296
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8 comments:

Jonathan said...

Who is this Sam Simmons person?

BA said...

Congratulations! Does that make you Balvenie Brand Ambassador Canada as well? I see good things in the future.

Will said...

Wow! That's...freaking awesome. Congratulations!!

-Will

Anonymous said...

woohoo! congrats on finally getting sorted. see you in NYC? Colin

Erik M said...

I'm absolutely delighted for you! Congratulations and good luck on this great new chapter of your life!

orangedog said...

congrats on the new post! although I will miss the Balvenie commentary as it is my go-to malt and I enjoy the notes.

MP said...

Its a great company - i know from several years experience...

enjoy

CK said...

Damn, you sold out man. And by "sold out" I mean "got the one job I wanted more than anything in my life. Ever."

Please do not lose touch with your blog. It is the one thing pulling me to my desk every morning...