Sometimes a whisky is released that’s so elusive, it’s impossible not to sit up and take notice. Enter The Balvenie Sixty. The single cask bottling from 1962 is the Speyside-based distillery’s oldest and rarest expression to date, marking 60 years since Malt Master David C. Stewart MBE joined the iconic brand.
Only available at extremely limited quantities (just 71 bottles are being released globally) The Balvenie Sixty is a celebration of Stewart’s six-decade career at the distillery. As the longest-serving Malt Master in history, he has developed groundbreaking techniques during this time that have transformed the single malt scotch whisky-making process.
The Balvenie Sixty was distilled in the year Stewart started working for the distillery as a whisky stocks clerk. “This liquid; a new make spirit was filled into a collection of traditional European Oak Hogshead casks,” he explains. “For six decades it has rested and matured, now marking quite a poignant moment for me on my journey.”
The single cask was selected by Kelsey McKechnie, The Balvenie’s fiercely talented young Malt Master who has been mentored by Stewart for the past four years.
“I have learned so much from David at work,” she says. “His mentorship has made a profound impact on me and finding a cask to fit such an incredible character in the distillery’s history is a great honour.”
So what can you expect from this incredibly rare Scotch? “On the nose the whisky has a mesmerizing array of autumnal aromas; lavender, heather and bracken,” explains McKechnie. “Rich toffee, roasted coffee and beautifully layered oak dominate the palate. The flavor evolves with time revealing bursts of cloves, nutmeg, charred oak and candied orange in an exceptional long lasting finish.”
As for the packaging, The Balvenie Sixty sits within an elegant bottle made from hand-blown crystal and adorned with a quote from Kelsey McKechnie. The single cask is displayed in a beautiful glass, gold and brass casing with five layers each etched with personal anecdotes from individuals who have influenced Stewart’s illustrious career.