The Balvenie stands out among single malts thanks to natural alchemy and centuries-old workmanship. Their whisky-making process is dedicated to maintaining the Five Rare Crafts and is the only distillery in Scotland that still grows its own barley, uses traditional floor maltings and keeps both a coppersmith and a team of coopers on site.
That said, celebrating the tenth anniversary of World Whisky Day — The Balvenie gave an exclusive virtual tour of its world-renowned distillery grounds in Dufftown hosted by Gemma Paterson, Global Ambassador for The Balvenie and Brett Bayly, Regional Brand Ambassador for The Balvenie at William Grant & Sons.
The Balvenie distillery in Dufftown, Scotland
The virtual tour took guests through the five rare crafts that make The Balvenie unique. James Roberts, Brand Ambassador for The Balvenie Distillery, was on the ground to walk guests through The Balvenie’s malting floor, stillhouse and distinguished Warehouse 24.
Tour highlights included:
A spring onsite, where water is used to make The Balvenie as well as the traditional malting floor at The Balvenie, one of only a handful left in Scotland. Here, after steeping the barley in spring water sourced from hills above the distillery, the grain is spread across a traditional malting floor where malt men turn it by hand until the malted barley is ready for the kiln.
Copper stills at The Balvenie, featuring the iconic ‘Balvenie Bell’ shape, with a bulge or boil ball at the base of the swan’s neck – a feature replicated in the neck of The Balvenie bottle. This allows the vapours more time to mix before they carry on up to the head.
The Balvenie cooperage where coopers repair, rebuild, fill and seal whisky casks by hand.
Throughout the tour, The Balvenie team shared stories of their time at the distillery, from tales of the Green Lady’s hauntings in the malting room to coppersmith Dennis McBain’s early days working at the distillery.
The tour ended with a session with David Stewart, Malt Master for The Balvenie and the most experienced malt master in the Scotch industry, having nosed over 500,000 casks across his illustrious career. David spoke about his 59 years with The Balvenie, creations he is most proud of, and of course, his favourite whisky from The Balvenie.