The Balvenie has launched The Balvenie Stories; a new collection of single malt whiskies, with each expression telling a human story, evolving with the protagonists and developing unexpected twists through years of maturation. The collection offers an intimate glimpse into the unique and very human nature of how The Balvenie produces whisky, showcasing its continued drive to put people at the heart of its brand.
Highlighting the parallels between whisky making and storytelling, The Balvenie upholds age-old traditions while challenging and testing their limits, offering twists on a familiar narrative, all with the goal of making the perfect single malt whisky. This storytelling theme is central to The Balvenie Stories range; each new expression representing a compelling production story:
- 14-year-old The Week of Peat: Eager to experiment with The Balvenie profile using what he had learnt from a recent trip to Islay, distillery manager Ian Millar ordered a batch of Speyside peat for the kiln. For a week a year, The Balvenie distils a batch of peated malt, resulting in a whisky rich in honey, vanilla and citrus notes with an extra layer of delicate smokiness.
- 26-year-old A Day of Dark Barley: The arrival of a batch of dark roasted malted barley, more commonly used in the production of stout, at the distillery marked the beginning of a 26-year-long experiment. The result was a pleasing depth – smokiness and oakiness as well as the classic honey, vanilla and citrus flavours.
Through a storytelling night hosted at Straits Clan, these two whisky expressions were officially launched on 6 and 7 November 2019, where guests discovered whisky tales of craft, endeavour and unexpected twists narrated by James Cordiner and Ross Blainey, The Balvenie Brand Ambassadors for Southeast Asia and Australia respectively.
To give an intimate, sincere and handcrafted experience, each story is enhanced with a culinary and experiential dish by Charles Tan, chef- owner of FATCAT Ice Cream Bar, and accompanying live music by Vishaal Raj with the help of The General Co, a collective of new generation craftsmen, artisans and designers.
Gemma Paterson, The Balvenie Global Brand Ambassador says: “The Balvenie Distillery is built on stories – they are our lifeblood. In today’s increasingly automated world, it’s our craftspeople’s pursuit, passion and endeavour that makes our liquid so unique.
The Balvenie Stories collection lets us celebrate storytelling in all forms – from our distillery, Speyside and all across the world. We’re delighted to be partnering with some of the world’s best storytellers to bring this to life and look forward to sharing this unique collection of untold tales – the perfect accompaniment to a dram of our whisky.”
The storytelling theme is threaded through the design of The Balvenie Stories packaging too, with each tale represented visually on the whisky’s tube and label in bespoke illustrations from British artist and printmaker Andy Lovell. Andy’s work draws its inspiration direct from the distillery, where he spent time listening to the stories first-hand, before using his bold, hand-made gestural technique to build up images that capture the essence of each tale.
“At The Balvenie, we believe that each whisky tells a story based on the men and woman that have been involved in every part of the process from growing and malting the barley to crafting the casks that the whiskies sleep and mature in. The Balvenie Stories collection is a unique and special way for us to offer whisky drinkers an exclusive look into the craft and craftspeople behind our whiskies. Aside from the new, limited release liquids to enjoy, we are also glad to be able to bring whisky enthusiasts something they can also enjoy outside the glass,” said James Cordiner, The Balvenie Brand Ambassador, Southeast Asia.
The Week of Peat (14 year old) and A Day of Dark Barley (26 year old) from The Balvenie Stories collection are now available at various bars and retail outlets including Cooperage, LMDW, Malts, Straits Clan, The Connoisseur Divan, The Joint, The Wall, The Winery*, Tipple & Dram, 1855 and 75CL.
As part of the campaign, The Balvenie will also launch its first ever collection of short stories that explores what it is to have, and pursue, a goal or a dream. The book, Pursuit – The Balvenie Stories Collection, is edited by award-winning author and journalist Alex Preston, and contains a series of fiction and non-fiction stories contributed by celebrated authors from around the world, including international best-selling writer Lawrence Osbourne, Yan Ge, an award-winning author and one of China’s most promising writers, acclaimed Malaysian novelist Tash Aw, and many more. Taking inspiration from The Balvenie’s own pursuit of perfection, contributing authors were briefed to craft tales of perseverance, tenacity, determination and resolve.
Pursuit – The Balvenie Stories Collection, sold at The Balvenie distillery and available worldwide on Amazon will be the perfect literary accompaniment to a dram of The Balvenie Stories whisky. Discover more about The Balvenie Stories Collection on www.thebalvenie.com/balvenie-stories/ or follow www.facebook.com/TheBalvenieSEA to stay updated on upcoming storytelling nights and events.