The Balvenie French Oak Cask 16 Year Old is Now Available in Malaysia

Last Monday, I was at Aurum Theatre at The Gardens Mall for the exclusive preview of The Balvenie 16 Years. Previously I attended their event late last year for The Makers Project that spotlights our very own local artist Fern Chua with her craftsmanship at the exhibition in Pavilion KL.

So for this time around, The Balvenie has unveiled its latest cask finished whisky The Balvenie French Oak Cask aged 16 years as part of its Cask Finishes Range. The new expression reflects the brand’s commitment to its continued discovery of depthful flavours, while embodying the Speyside distillery’s honeyed signature style. The new expression completes the existing range consisting of The Balvenie Doublewood aged 12 years, The Balvenie Caribbean Cask aged 14 years, and The Balvenie Portwood aged 21 years.

The Balvenie unveils unparalleled depth of flavours with cask finishes range featuring its latest expression

A nod to ultimate craftsmanship, the new expression is a deep dive into flavour using Malt Master David C. Stewart MBE pioneering finishing process he innovated in 1982, which is now celebrated across the whisky world. This process involves taking whisky from a period of maturation and moving it into a different cask for a shorter period of maturation, adding a layer of flavour to the whisky that no other method can. The Balvenie Makers recognise that making exceptional whisky requires time, patience, dedication, passion, and curiosity. In their commitment to making the very best whisky, the range explores time and flavour from the iconic The Balvenie Doublewood aged 12 years, right through to The Balvenie Portwood aged 21 years.

“Brett Bayly, Regional Brand Ambassador for The Balvenie Southeast Asia said, “The Balvenie’s Cask Finishes Range offers a unique range of rich and complex flavours, perfect for ardent lovers or newcomers who seek an exploration of whiskies like no other. We are especially excited to introduce the new French Oak 16 Year Old, which complete the range of expressions encapsulating the heart and soul of the Balvenie.”

Look at those comfortable reclining leather seats and a soft Getha blanket. The movie that we were watching is Bullet Train starred by Brad Pitt and I quite enjoy the it although it's kind of predictable.

I don't recall if I had watched a movie in this Aurum Theatre before but I do know that I have been to GSC Signature Gold Class a few years ago which is now renovated and rebranded into Aurum Theatre which is more luxurious in style.

This latest addition to The Balvenie range is inspired by memories of The Balvenie team’s travels to Europe’s winemaking regions. For the first time in the distillery’s 129 years of history, the brand explored Pineau from the French Charentes vineyards, following US brand ambassador Lorne Cousin’s family trip to the region where David Stewart fondly recalled sipping an aperitif and urged him to experiment with it. Pineau is akin to cognac in terms of production and flavour, creating energising notes in this delicious French Oak Cask aged 16 Years. 

Every seats came with a glass of The Balvenie French Oak Cask aged 16 Years, a glass of water and a beautifully designed tasting notes description. It is indeed my first time having whisky while watching a movie in a cinema. Long time ago, I only had beer while watching a football final match in a cinema.

This whisky gives a velvety sweetness with notes of grapefruit, geranium, glazed fruit, and ginger.

The expression uses casks from Pineau des Charentes, a fortified wine made from fresh, unfermented grape juice or a blend of lightly fermented grape must, to which a Cognac eau-de-vie is added and then matured. Produced from the sun-kissed grapes of rolling green vineyards, this rich fruity wine is steeped in tradition and seldom found outside the region. Maturing for 16 years in traditional American Oak whisky barrels to develop the distillery’s distinct notes of warm honey, this combination of Scottish whisky excellence and French fortified wine casks brings to life velvety sweetness with notes of grapefruit, geranium, glazed fruit, and ginger. 

The Balvenie x Owen Gildersleeve

To further bring the new expressions to life, The Balvenie collaborated with multi-award-winning artist and handcrafted illustrator, Owen Gildersleeve, on a range of visual concepts for The Balvenie Cask Finishes Range, highlighting its dedication to craft, storytelling, and complexity of flavour. The elements of the artwork, which include a series of animations and a pop-up book, handcrafted using a range of textured paper stocks. This attention to detail mirrors the focus on skill and craftsmanship that The Balvenie makers put into its whisky making. 

Blending the craftsmanship of Whisky with art

“It’s always enjoyable working with brands and other creatives who are open to input and communication and who also have a great understanding of the process and time that goes into hand-crafted work such as this. These layered designs celebrate the warm depth of flavour in The Balvenie's whisky, bringing to life their various flavour profiles in a graphic hand-crafted manner, which fits well with the brand's luxurious feel and refined hands-on approach to making their whisky,” commented Owen Gildersleeve.

Below is the tasting notes of The Balvenie French Oak Cask 16 Years:-

Overall, I would say this is an interesting whisky which I do like it with the complexity flavour of fruitiness and a little spice on the tip of my tongue that kept me going for more.

The Balvenie French Oak Cask aged 16 years is available at The Chambers, Wholly Spirits, Cellar 18, Wine & Liquor Warehouse, Wine Warehouse, WIP On The Park, WIP Bangsar Shopping Center, Burnin’ Pit, Butchers Block, Whisky Bar, Dark, Hybrid and Mezze Bistro.

Disclaimer: Product is non-halal and for non-Muslim aged 18 years and above. Please do not drink and drive. Get a designated driver or grab an e-hailing ride. Stay safe!

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