One of our favorite large scotch distilleries, The Balvenie, is celebrating the dedication of half a century of work of David Stewart, now the longest tenured malt master in Scotland, with an expression aptly titled The Balvenie Fifty. Known farflung as the ‘Modest Man of Whisky’, Stewart first began interning at the Speyside distillery back in 1962 — a year before single malt whisky was even officially exported from Scotland. Now that’s a long time ago. The single barrel whisky has been aged in a rare European oak sherry hogshead cask since 1962, the slow maturation lending the spirit a velvety sweetness with a balance of sweet citrus notes and gentle hints of honey, spice and oak. “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,” notes Stewart of his beloved The Balvenie Fifty. “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.” The fragrant and floral Balvenie Fifty comes packaged in a beautiful wooden container and will be limited to only 88 bottles, elevating the price of the highly exclusive expression to $32,000 (£20,000) for a bottle of the single malt.

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