GSN Review: The Balvenie Stories Whiskies

The Balvenie Distillery recently announced the launch of The Balvenie Stories – a collection of single malt whiskies representing tales of character, endeavor and craft created in Dufftown, Scotland.

Each whisky produced by The Balvenie tells a human story, evolving with the protagonists and developing unexpected twists through years of maturation. The three expressions of The Balvenie Stories celebrate that evolution – coming to be as the result of a story worth telling. Whether it was Apprentice Malt Master Kelsey McKechnie using Kentucky Virgin oak to make a fruitier Balvenie, or former distillery manager Ian Millar introducing smoke from Speyside peat, or Malt Master David Stewart MBE using an unusually brittle barley, each expression tells its own tale in liquid form.

The Sweet Toast of American Oak – Aged 12 Years (86 proof)
Visual: Light gold.
Nose: Honey, vanilla, malt, cinnamon and cocoa powder.
Taste: Sweet caramel, vanilla, baking spices and an interesting citrus zest top note.
Finish: Medium-long and dry with a grain-like finish.
Overall: Very well one and easy to drink. Surprisingly fruity.
GSN Rating: A-

The Week of Peat – Aged 14 Years (96.6 proof)
Visual: Light gold.
Nose: Soft peat smoke with a penumbra of floral notes.
Taste: Sweet and warm with a baked fruit entry. Loads of spices add to this sensation. The peat smoke tempers things down to a rumble though, reminding you that this is a Scotch.
Finish: Long and smokey. The sweetness fades slowly leaving elements of spice.
Overall: A tasty and more peaty whisky that succeeds even more so once you add a splash of water.
GSN Rating: B+

A Day of Dark Barley – Aged 26 Years (95.6 proof)
Visual: Dark gold.
Nose: Take the previous whiskey and ramp it up to 11. This is a preserved fruit and baking spice bomb. Sweet, intensely compact and self assured.
Taste: Surprisingly dry and spice driven on the entry, this quickly shifts gears to toffee, fruit cake, tea, tobacco leaf and raisin. Honestly, there is so much going on here that there is a veritable catalogue of familiar flavors.
Finish: Long and savory with the lasting impression being one of a Creamsicle.
Overall: For connoisseurs and lovers of fruit forward whiskies. A real gem and a rarity at that.
GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: The Balvenie