The Whisky Word

The Whisky Word
14 Jun 2013

Sam Simmons - Don't Ask, Triple Cask

Although most of us are reluctant to admit it, we weren’t always as talented as we are now. No, at one time or another we each spent time practicing.

Some practiced kissing with a pillow. Some practiced crying on-demand. Some people practiced smoking in front of a mirror to make sure they looked cool (they didn’t). Some practiced writing their signature, over and over again; how many loops? How many twirls? And how to connect certain letters?

I practiced to be able to play music at the launch of one of the latest creations from Malt Master David Stewart, The Balvenie Triple Cask. 

David Stewart has practiced the craft of whisky-making for 50 years and the world agrees that he is certainly good at what he does.  It is safe to say that David Stewart created every Balvenie you have ever tried and now, even this late in his career, he is still creating. The Balvenie 14yo Caribbean Cask, The Balvenie 17 DoubleWood, The Balvenie Tun 1401…

Never one to boast or brag (I proudly do that on his behalf), David is a humble, west-coast Scotsman with a master’s nose and heart of gold. When I first met him I was floored by his kindness and lack of pretension. I had been very excited to meet him, I had so many questions! When we did meet, he was the one asking me all sorts of questions: about my studies, my years in Scotland, my family in Canada, etc. The whole time I was thinking, “Doesn’t he know who he is?”

He certainly does, but his gentle spirit is like that of The Balvenie, unassuming, complex, and the result of years of patience and passion. The Balvenie Triple Cask landed in airports and travel retail locations around the world last month, and a few weeks ago I was at Gatwick South educating the World of Whiskies staff about this new release. 

Available at 12, 16 and 25 years old, the Triple Cask is a traditional marriage or vatting of first-fill ex-bourbon barrels, refill American oak casks, and first-fill European Oak ex-sherry butts. From the sherry butts come rich fruit and spiciness; the bourbon barrels add subtle vanilla oak and layers of honey and the refill casks impart delicate, sweet notes and smoothness. The result of this union is a perfect balance of spice and subtle oak, deliciously enveloped in The Balvenie’s trademark honeyed character. Hope you get a chance to try it soon. Let me know your thoughts!

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