Craftsmanship takes skill, ultimate craftsmanship requires heart. The Balvenie Single Malt Scotch Whisky unveiled the latest expression within its Cask Finishes Range: The Balvenie French Oak 16-Year-Old, a vibrant single malt finished in casks that previously held Pineau wine from the French Charentes vineyards.
The Balvenie is committed to pushing boundaries of flavor and ultimate craftsmanship, continually investing the patience, passion and time to experiment with new ways of making whisky. Inspired by William Grant & Sons U.S. Ambassador Lorne Cousin’s flavor journey through wine making regions of France, the new expression explores the use of Pineau French Oak casks for the first time in the distillery’s 130-year history. Pineau des Charentes, or simply Pineau, is a fortified wine made from unfermented grape juice, to which Cognac eau-de-vie is added and then matured. The result is a refreshingly concise finish and rich flavor profile, marked by the energizing taste of tangy lemon rind and grapefruit in combination with the subtle sweetness of glazed fruits and root ginger spice.
The French Oak 16-Year-Old joins DoubleWood 12-Year-Old, Caribbean Cask 14-Year-Old and Portwood 21-Year-Old as part of The Balvenie’s Cask Finishes Range, a collection that explores a symphony of delicate flavors underpinned by signature notes of honey and vanilla.
“Curiosity and a passion for uncovering the exceptional guides the creation of each expression from our distillery. As part of our continued journey of exploration and innovation, we found that French wine casks offer a light, fresh finish we had not previously leveraged,” said Malt Master David C. Stewart MBE. “Pineau des Charentes’ vibrant and distinct flavors, extracted from our signature double maturation process, not only bring greater depth to our range but deliver an element of luxury and craft that is unmistakably The Balvenie.”
Each expression within the Cask Finishes Range has been crafted using cask finishing, a technique pioneered by Malt Master David C. Stewart MBE in 1983. The French Oak 16-Year-Old marks the latest permanent addition to the range since the introduction of the Caribbean Cask 14-Year-Old in 2013.
Neil Strachan, U.S. Ambassador of The Balvenie, continued: “The use of French Oak casks for this expression draws out its rich taste, positioning it perfectly within our Cask Finishes Range.” Naomi Leslie, U.S. Ambassador of The Balvenie, shared: “Our French Oak’s 16-year maturation in traditional American oak barrels develops its distinct taste of rich honey, with a finishing period in Pineau French Oak casks then delivering a velvety sweetness with notes of candied grapefruit, geranium, and ginger.”
The Balvenie French Oak is now available across the U.S. at a suggested retail price of $174.99.