On a truly glorious Autumn day, St. Andrews Square, Edinburgh was transformed into a whisky fête. There were tutored tastings with The Balvenie’s Brand Ambassador Dr. Andrew Forrester, and workshops with The Balvenie’s craft partners.
The Balvenie Whisky Fete is part of The Balvenie Master’s of Craft campaign, celebrating British craftsmanship through a series of events throughout the United Kingdom and an award programme. The fête featured bespoke Geodesic domes made from Whisky
casks from The Balvenie distillery
Within a dome, I discovered Head Cooper Ian McDonald. He explained that the dome was made using European oak barrells which have been lightly charred inside to enhance the flavour of the whisky. The whisky cask that Ian will use to demonstrate his technique was a bourbon cask and more highly charred.
How to make a cask
Ian deftly dismantles the bourbon cask and stacks them carefully in numerical order. The staves vary in size and this variation contributes to the shape of the barrel. He then starts rebuilding, at times adding then removing the rings. He shows how reeds are added to stem any leaks and all the different tools required to finish a barrel. Do have a look at a master craftsman at work!
About The Balvenie
The Balvenie is a unique range of single malts created by David Stewart, The Balvenie Malt Master. Each has a very individual taste, but each is rich, luxuriously smooth and underpinned by the distinctively honeyed character of The Balvenie. Little has changed at Balvenie Distillery over the years. Uniquely they still employ all the traditional crafts of malt whisky making, which is why The Balvenie tastes the way it does.
The Balvenie Single Malt Scotch Whisky is produced by William Grant & Sons Ltd, an award-winning independent family-owned distiller founded by William Grant in 1886 and today run by his direct descendants.
Join the Balvenie Warehouse 24 community to delve further into the world of handcrafted malt.
The Balvenie on Twitter @balvenieuk
Read more on oak barrels on the Thirsty Fifty blog.