Balvenie malt master creates £20k Scotch

David Stewart, the Balvenie’s malt master, has celebrated his 50th anniversary at the company with a new limited edition release.

David Stewart

Known as the “modest man of whisky”, Stewart began working at Balvenie in 1962 – a year before single malt Scotch was officially exported outside of Scotland.

To celebrate this milestone a rare cask single malt distilled in 1962 has been released.

There are only 88 bottles of “The Balvenie Fifty” each priced at £20,000. The spirit was matured in a Sherry hogshead – a rarity in today’s whisky-making.

Sitting in barrel ever since, it is described as being a “wonderfully fragrant and floral whisky, which is velvety sweet with a beautifully balanced combination of sweet citrus notes and gentle hints of honey, spice and oak.”

Stewart said: “Cask 5576 and I have shared the last five decades together at The Balvenie Distillery and as single malt making is as much art and alchemy as precise science, the interaction between wood and maturing whisky means each cask will produce something entirely unique.

“It’s true to say I have a dream job and I’ve been privileged to taste a lot of wonderful whisky in my time, but it’s a great delight to discover how after half a century this unique cask has turned out a truly special single malt.”

Throughout his career Stewart has gained many awards including a lifetime achievement award in 2005 which was bestowed by a panel from the International Wine and Spirits Competition.

That same year he was also presented the Grand Prix of Gastronomy by the British Academy of Gastronomes.

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