The Speyside distillery recently announced the launch of The Balvenie Thirty & The Balvenie Forty that will officially conclude Malt Master David C. Stewart MBE’s latest exquisite collection of premium Single Malts, or better known as The Balvenie Rare Marriages range. The collection features three distinct whiskies (the other being the Twenty-Five) with each standing as a testament to David’s dedication to designing and creating exceptional flavours through the use of rare traditional oak marrying tuns, hence the name of the series.
My first encounter with The Balvenie spirits was the 16-Year French Oak Whisky, prominently boasting its use of oak casks that once held pineau from France. It drew out exceptionally fruity flavours with floral complements that paired pleasantly with the distillery’s signature runny honey flavours. To be completely honest, my expectations and perceptions may have been swayed on the first nib given that I had a glance at what they had to say about the French Oak before even tasting it first. But nonetheless, I will still say with certainty that the flavour profiles they boast were indeed conspicuous and appreciable to a high degree. And of course, the experience of it all was truly a delight.
My point being, despite not having the chance to taste any of the whiskies from the Rare Marriages range as of now, I’ll admittedly say with some confidence that The Balvenie will surely deliver what is promised. But for now, let’s have a look at what The Balvenie has to say about the Thirty & Forty.
Starting from the Thirty, the whisky is said to smell of smooth honey and mellow oaky tones with a hint of candied orange peel. The taste highlights a great depth of rich dark chocolate paired with a hint of plum, marzipan and caramelised pear, completed with an exceptionally smooth and warming gentle spice and lingering sweetness to finish.
This 44.2% ABV spirit is the result of Malt Master David’s venture into marrying Traditional American and European oak casks that have been matured for decades in order to craft a taste of silky sweetness and complexity. The packaging’s cylinder is made of soft goat leather construct, detailed with gradually faded embossed pattern rings, and finished with white gold foil to express a highly tactile and luxurious touch.
Next up, The Balvenie Forty effuses honey and orange marmalade notes mingled with creamy fruitiness followed by a luscious wave of vanilla with a hint of oak. The taste is said to be orange blossom, candied ginger and honeyed sweetness lying beneath the oaky profile, further complemented with mouth-coasting vanilla notes and a delicate sherried, fruitiness complete with warm and elegant honeyed citrus richness as a finish.
“There are few whiskies that embody the true craft and heart of our Malt Master David C. Stewart MBE like the Rare Marriages range. The way each cask has been brought together is an incredibly intricate process and takes true skill and intuition,” said Brett Bayly, Regional Brand Ambassador for The Balvenie Southeast Asia. “The result is something very special and one that speaks to the true heart of what The Balvenie stands for – flavours that are seemingly simple, yet incredibly complex. Whiskies that we are very proud of and excited to share with the world,” he added.
With all that being said, I’ll definitely be looking forward to having my first sip of these fine spirits before humbly proffering my rather candid verdict in the near future. Until then, for those who are intrigued by The Balvenie’s very arousing description of their Rare Marriages range, you’ll be able to find them for purchase in select retailers – Wholly Spirits Sdn Bhd, Tong Woh Retail, Hock Guan Wines & Spirit Sdn Bhd.