Commemorating the 60th anniversary of the longest-serving malt master in the industry’s history
THE BALVENIE is a brand that whisky aficionados know all too well. The distillers, whose heritage spans more than 130 years, are known to produce some of the world’s finest and rarest single malt scotch whiskies.
The brand recently debuted The Balvenie Sixty – a single cask bottling from 1962, that holds the distinction of being its oldest and rarest whisky ever released.
Its unveiling coincides with the momentous 60-year anniversary of the distinguished malt master, David C. Stewart (MBE) – an icon whose influence on the whisky industry has been nothing short of revolutionary.
Honouring a legend
Stewart began his journey as a clerk at The Balvenie at the tender age of 17, before embarking on a 12-year apprenticeship under then Malt Master Hamish Robertson.
He then took on Robertson’s role in 1972 – a position he has held over the last five decades.
But Stewart’s work transcends that of a mere overseer for the creation of all whiskies of The Balvenie; he is also considered the architect of The Balvenie’s distinct flavours.
With a nose finely tuned by years of experience, he ensures that every drop of The Balvenie meets the highest standards of quality and consistency.
Stewart’s legacy reverberates through award-winning whiskies and the pioneering of new whisky making techniques – namely casks finishing, that have shaped the industry.
Crafted from a single European Hogshead cask from 1962 – the year Stewart began his journey at the distillery – The Balvenie Sixty is a rare whisky, with only 71 bottles available globally in 2023.
As expected for a whisky that has undergone a 60-year maturation process, this luxurious whisky offers intense leather and oak aromas, balanced by sweet floral notes on the nose, layered rich toffee and oak on the palate.
The packaging of this commemorative single cask resembles a work of art made from glass, gold and brass and a tube casing.
The tube casing, comprising five cylindrical glass layers representing every decade of Stewart’s illustrious career, is etched with personal anecdotes from influential individuals who has known him over the years.
The sixth decade is represented by the elegant bottle itself, made from hand-blown crystal, which contains a quote from his apprentice and recently appointed Malt Master Kelsey McKechnie – a symbol of the current decade, and the future generations of The Balvenie.
The bottle also features both Stewart’s and McKechnie’s signatures – marking the connection between generations, the passion Stewart instilled in the legacy he nurtured.
This exceptional collaboration showcases the seamless continuum of expertise from one generation to another, while the whisky itself remains a testament to both – cherished traditions and innovative paths.
Keeping the legacy alive
Under Stewart’s tutelage, McKechnie has flourished, and her selection of The Balvenie Sixty's single cask is a tribute to his profound impact.
In celebrating Stewart's 60-year legacy, The Balvenie Sixty not only raises a glass to the past, but also to the future of exceptional whisky-making. It is a reminder that while time advances, true craftsmanship is timeless.