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Advent Calendar 2023: Day 23

Balvenie, the late Anthony Bourdain's favorite distillery, is one of the few distilleries where you can still witness all the stages of whisky production. William Grant founded the distillery in 1892, and the first distillation took place in the spring of the following year. Unlike many other distilleries, Balvenie has a surprisingly peaceful history. The distillery has never been closed, and it has avoided changes in ownership. In practice, it has only expanded over time.

The current core range includes four products: Doublewood 12, Caribbean Cask 14, French Oak 16, and Portwood 21. In addition, the distillery offers several limited-release editions. My personal favorites from the distillery are the 12- and 15-year-old Single Barrel releases, although today's whisky isn't either of them.

Today's whisky was released in 2017. The whisky originated when David C. Stewart MBE carefully selected 23 casks from the distillery's warehouse. These included 13 traditional American oak barrels and 10 European Sherry Butt oak barrels. The contents of these casks were poured into Tun 1509, a large wooden vessel in Warehouse 24. There, they had the opportunity to mingle peacefully for several months before the final product was bottled. The whisky is of course Balvenie's Tun 1509 Batch No. 4. No age statement and bottled at 51,7% abv.

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