The Balvenie launches A Collection of Curious Casks

Petra Milde |

The single cask editions continue the series of The Balvenie Stories

The Balvenie  presents some new single cask bottlings as part of the Stories series. The "Collection of Curious Casks" includes the 14-year-old American Bourbon Barrel and the18-year-old French Pineau Cask, which are available from retailers. In addition, an 11-year-old Hungarian Red Wine Cask is available in travel retail and a 17-year-old New Spanish Oak Cask is sold exclusively at the Balvenie Distillery.

At the centre of the Collection of Curious Casks are the characteristics of The Balvenie's warehouses and the friendship and collaboration between Malt Master Kelsey McKechnie and Warehouse and Samples Coordinator George Paterson. When selecting the casks for the Curious Casks bottlings, McKechie was inspired by the warehouse tastings that Paterson organises and at which he presents the special treasures of "his" warehouses.

Special casks from The Balvenie warehouses

Malt Master Kelsey McKechnie said: “This collection exemplifies the rare and limited Balvenie casks making their debut. Collaborating daily with talented craftspeople like George, who dedicates his time and expertise to our casks, is a privilege. I'm thrilled to share this opportunity with him, showcasing his knowledge of our warehouses.”

And George Paterson, Warehouse and Samples Coordinator, added: “I have one of the best jobs in the world, working in our warehouses, monitoring special casks. Identifying hidden gems and bringing them to light is a true highlight, and it is from these moments shared throughout history and relentless curiosity at the Balvenie that conversations come to life and brilliant ideas are born.”

Tasting notes for the Balvenie 14YO American Bourbon Barrel

47.8% ABV, numbered single cask, unchill-filtered, natural colour

Aroma: Velvety sweetness, rich toffee and glowing oak reveal crisp citrus flavours and everlasting honey musk.

Taste: Candied orange peel embedded in woody, earthy flavours of roasted malt and a deep vanilla oak note

Finish: Long and lingering

Tasting notes for the Balvenie 18YO French Pineau Cask

47.9% ABV, numbered single cask, unchill-filtered, natural colour

Aroma: Warming hints of toasted oak and delicate spices are overlaid with silky caramel and a hint of ripe berries.

Flavour: Intriguing layers of spice and full-bodied sweetness cover creamy vanilla and honey before releasing gentle woody tannins

Finish: Long and lingering

The Balvenie Malt Master Kelsey McKechnie

Kelsey McKechnie grew up just 16 kilometres from William Grant & Sons' Girvan Distillery and, after studying Biology and Life Sciences, decided to continue her studies in Brewing and Distilling at Heriot-Watt University. During her studies, she found her way into the William Grant & Sons team and became Apprentice Malt Master at The Balvenie in 2018 at the age of 26. In 2022, she succeeded David C. Stewart MBE as Malt Master of The Balvenie, with whom she had previously worked closely.


Images: The Balvenie via Net Talents

Petra Milde is a freelance author of books and specialist writing about spirits and food. She has been supporting the editorial team since 2015 and creates informative and entertaining articles in the news section.

Besides her writing work, she moderates tastings and can be met at spirits fairs, both behind the stands and in front of them, looking for new products and interesting people to talk to.