New Balvenie whisky honors maltmaster

The Balvenie distillery (right) is launching a 12-year-old Scotch to commemorate maltmaster David Stewart's 45th year in the industry.

The 12-year-old single malt from the Speyside distillery is a marriage from three cask types -– first-fill bourbon barrels, refill casks and sherry butts.

“It has given me great pleasure to create a signature whisky as part of The Balvenie range," Stewart said in a statement. "Maturing and marrying the finest single malt Scotch whisky has been my passion for over 45 years and it’s an honor to mark the moment with an addition to The Balvenie family.”

The Balvenie Signature 12-year-old is a limited release to be sold at a suggested retail price of $58. Each bottle carries its own batch number.

Balvenie was created in 1892, when an 18th Century mansion called Balvenie New House was converted into a distillery which had been purchased the same year by William Grant.

The basement was to become a bonded store for maturing whisky, the first story a malt floor, and the two upper floors were to be used as grain lofts. The building took 15 months to complete and on May 1, 1893, the first distillation took place at The Balvenie Distillery.

In the early 1920s, the old mansion was levelled to the basement floor and the stone blocks were used to build a new malt barn and kiln. The old malt kiln was converted into malt bins, electric light was installed and the number of stills has increased to nine, according to the company history.

The facility, located in Dufftown, Scotland, is open to public tours on weekdays to visitors 18 or older.

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