The Balvenie have been releasing collections of five Whiskies every year, dubbed The Balvenie DCS Compendium, as part of a five year project celebrating their Master Distiller David Stewart.
Chaper Three was released in October 2017 and features the distillery’s oldest ever bottling, a 55 Year Old malt distilled in 1961.
This Balvenie DCS Compendium includes expressions produced in years that are significant to the history of the distillery and costs £57,000 in total.
The oldest is valued at £35,000 and has been matured inoloroso sherry, European oak hogsheads.
It has a floral and light nose, with caramel and honey coming through.
These are followed by a palate of sugary sweetness. There is plenty of vanilla and toffee, with a lasting note of oak and caramel.
These are rich and thick, with a smooth mouth feel and a slightly spicy finish.
The next bottling is a 43 Year Old malt, distilled in 1973 and also matured in European oak oloroso sherry casks, this time in butts rather than hogsheads.
This bottling costs £15,000 and has more of a focus on oak flavour.
The nose is oaky and citrusy, with oranges and lemons especially coming out.
The palate is smooth with a slight dark chocolate bitterness to it. this combines well with the vanilla of the oak wood. It also has a wonderful hint of cinnamon spice and dried fruits.
The finish is wrapped up well with a slightly Christmas cake note.
This expression is 35 Years Old, distilled in 1983 and costing £3,500. It has been maturd in refill American oak hogsheads. This malt has been included to mark the year that the distillery started using Double Wood maturation.
More malted tones come from this expression, but it still has lots of vanilla and oak.
The nose is soft, with cereals and heather coming out. These are slightly delicate and are complemented by citrus fruits and vanilla.
The vanilla becomes thicker on the palate, with more toffee and caramel noes coming through.
The citrus also becomes stronger and zestier. There is also a slightly warming note of cinnamon.
The finish focuses more on the fruits and malt, with a gentle nod towards spice.
Again, this malt was created using refill American oak hogsheads and represents the year the distillery properly started using the term Double Wood. It costs £900 and is 23 Years Old.
It has a floral nose with lots of fresh fruits and caramel.
The caramel lends a smooth mouth feel on the palate, which is packed with deeper notes of oak and malt. the fruits really reveal themselves ehre as well.
Citrus and apple blossom are especially evident and give the dram a nice bite.
The finish is full of honey and petals, with a lasting note of citrus fruit.
This is a 13 Year Old malt matured in European oak oloroso sherry butts and costing £600. It marks the 30th anniversary of Stewart starting to work for the distillery as well as the year the brand brought out the Balvenie Thirty.
This dram is packed with orange and lemons from the very beginning. It is complex and sophisticated and can give the 55 Year Old a run for its money.
Berries and more fruits appear on the palate, with a lovely sherried spice to them. Cinnamon and nutmeg abound.
It is incredibly smooth and wonderful to taste. The finish rounds off with lots more fruit and a delicate hint of spice.