50, not out

Location: Europe, Scotland

A lot has happened in the drinks industry since 1962, but there’s one thing which hasn’t changed: David Stewart’s employment at The Balvenie.

Known as The Modest Man of Whisky, Stewart served a 12-year apprenticeship before being appointed malt master (he is one of only a handful of people to hold this prestigious title). His tenure at The Balvenie’s has seen him champion not only the traditional methods, but also cutting-edge technology to produce vast quantities of whisky, which have always been undeniably from The Balvenie stable.

To celebrate this milestone, the brand has released The Balvenie Fifty: taken from cask 5576, a European oak sherry hogshead which was filled in 1962. Unsurprisingly this means that the run is very limited, in fact there are only 88 bottles available, priced at an eye-watering £20,000 each.

Stewart said of the release: ‘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. 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.’

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