Balvenie is a world renown distillery located in Dufftown which is in the Speyside region of Scotland. Founded in 1893 by William Grant, who also owned Glenfiddich, Balvenie enjoyed immediate success from the first distilling. Balvenie is still owned by the Grant family, making it one of the longest single family ownerships in Scotland.
Balvenie distillery prides itself on being a complete distillery. They grow barley on a farm adjacent to the distillery and carry out floor maltings on site. Additionally they have a cooperage where they have in-house specialists construct casks for aging. The distillery produces 5.5 million liters of whisky per year which is on demand. Balvenie has been among the world’s best selling single malt whisky brands for a number of years.
The Balvenie 14 year Caribbean Cask is one of the distilleries core expressions. The spirit is aged in traditional oak casks for 14 years then finished in casks that previously held Caribbean rum. The rum casks are constructed on site and closely monitored by resident Malt Master David Stewart. The result is a unique whisky that was created using a non-traditional cask to finish the spirit.
Nose: vanilla, custard, cool sea breeze
Mouth: spice in the back of palate, sweet, soft, creamy, toffee, chocolate
Finish: gentle, fades without lingering, later you get a hint of spice
Verdict: I don’t usually gravitate towards honeyed single malts like Balvenie, but the flavoring in this Caribbean cask is very unique. The warm full bodied finish that develops with time is very special. This dram achieves great balance of flavor: it is not overly sweet and there is a complex flavor profile without any harshness. A very well crafted dram indeed. If you’re never tried Balvenie, the 14 yr Caribbean cask is an excellent entry dram to the Balvenie portfolio.
Where to Buy
Beacon Wines & Spirits – 2120 Broadway New York, NY 10023
Astor Wines & Spirits – 399 Lafayette St New York, NY 10003
Park Avenue Liquor Shop – 292 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10017
Where to Sip
– 37 W. 26th St. New York, NY 10010
On the Rocks – 696 10th Ave New York, NY 10019