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SGWS: The Balvenie Tasting w/ Malt Master David Stewart and Sam Simmons aka Dr. Whisky

November 28, 2012 Past Events, Seven Grand Whiskey Society No Comments

Last night, I attended a fun and educational Scotch tasting with The Balvenie Malt Master, David Stewart, and highly-entertaining Balvenie Global Ambassador, Dr. Whisky aka Sam Simmons (he’s got jokes!).

We tasted some fine Speyside whiskies, including The Balvenie 12 year old Double Wood (in a refreshing Seven Grand Whiskey Society Welcome Punch), the newly-released 17 year old Double Wood, the majestic 30 year old, and the crowd-pleasing Tun 1401. I found them all to be pretty delicious!

The real treat, however (at least for me anyways), was being in the presence of and listening to Mr. Stewart tell us about his 50 (!!!) year story in the whisky business. Specifically, during that time, he pioneered a bunch of stuff, most notably developing two cask maturation (the concept of first aging whisky in traditional oak casks, and then finishing it in another type of cask, like those that once contained sherry or port), being the first to apply the Solera process to single malt, and even inventing the internet. Yeah, this guy is Legend.

For a better read on Mr. Stewart’s story and accomplishments, I recommend Ian Buxton’s article, David aStewart – 50 Years in Whisky.

Here’s a pretty good, short video on Mr. Stewart’s whisky life:

Anyways, how about some iPhone pictures….

While nosing the 17 year Double Wood, Mr. Stewart described the immediate influence of the sherry casks as we picked up notes of spice and dry fruits, and also, how the American oak barrels give the whisky its honey and vanilla sweetness.

Since having a few drams of Tun 1401 Batch No. 3 earlier this year, I’ve been enamored by this Balvenie line. So, it was with pleasure that I tried this Batch No. 6, which, as much as I can recall, tasted different but nevertheless, still yummy. It is a no age statement whisky, comprising of spirits from 9 barrels (7 bourbon and 2 sherry). The youngest whisky in it is 21 years old. It was my favorite of the night.

As proof that I met David Stewart, I got him to sign my whisky  journal!

I also had Dr. Whisky sign my well-read and worn issue of Unfiltered magazine (January 2012).

…and that’s the report from Seven Grand.

A magnificent night.



P.S. If you got through this and were looking for detailed reviews of The Balvenie whiskies, Sorry, not this time. Maybe later… or not.

The Balvenie
Seven Grand Whiskey Bar

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