The Balvenie announces the release of The Balvenie DoubleWood 25 Year Old – a limited-edition expression specially crafted by Malt Master David C. Stewart MBE to mark the 25th anniversary of DoubleWood.
The Balvenie DoubleWood 25 Year Old is a new expression that contains liquid laid down at the distillery in Dufftown, Scotland, in 1993, the same year the original DoubleWood 12 Year Old made its debut to whisky lovers.
The Balvenie’s DoubleWood story started in 1982, when Stewart began experimenting with cask finishing (also known as ‘double-cask maturation’) by transferring mature Balvenie into Oloroso sherry casks to finish it for a number of months – a process which adds a layer of flavor, depth and complexity that cannot be achieved using any other method. The success of this pioneering work led the distillery to release the much sought-after Balvenie Classic in 1983, which was subsequently rebranded as DoubleWood in 1993.
This process, widely recognized as one of the most important innovations in the Scotch whisky category, has since become commonplace in the industry thanks to Stewart’s trials and experimentation. Development of this technique, and many other contributions over David Stewart‘s 55 years dedicated to Scotch whisky with William Grant & Sons and The Balvenie, earned him a distinction from Queen Elizabeth II as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2016.
“When we launched the first DoubleWood in 1993, I would have never thought we would eventually be bottling a 25-year-old variant as we are today,” The Balvenie Malt Master David C. Stewart MBE said. “It’s a testament to the success and admiration of DoubleWood that we are releasing this more mature expression.”
This new expression was matured in two distinct cask types – first in traditional American oak casks for 25 years, before being finished in Spanish oak ex-Oloroso sherry casks. Differing from its younger variant, The Balvenie DoubleWood 25 Year Old is finished in sherry casks for just three months – compared to nine for the original 12 Year Old. Stewart decided on a shorter finishing time because after 25 years maturing in traditional whisky casks, the more mature whisky had already taken on a greater level of spice and complexity.
“The final liquid has a lovely combination of sweetness and spice, with candied orange, some honey syrup on the nose, followed by a velvety mouth-coating taste, with layers of brown sugar and sweet dried fruits,” Stewart said. “The extra time spent in American oak, and finally sherry casks has imparted a finish full of oak and sherried sweetness.”
The launch of this new expression is part of a year of celebration, as The Balvenie honors the distillery craftsmen and women who helped bring DoubleWood into being, and specifically the pioneering work of David C. Stewart MBE himself. The Balvenie DoubleWood 25 Year Old is now available in limited quantities in the U.S. across the finest on- and off-trade retailers (SRP $599).
The new limited release is bottled at 43% ABV and presented in its own stylish maroon and opaque box packaging, with an infinity symbol representing the marrying of Sherry and American oaks. The bottle features a traditional parchment label with classic maroon lettering, emphasizing the new expression and milestone anniversary occasion. For more information about The Balvenie, please visit www.thebalvenie.com.