Balvenie isn't usually known for its peated whisky. However, after observing a week long gap in the production of the usual Balvenie whisky range, distillery manager Ian Millar jumped on the chance to experiment in drying barley with peat for the first time in 2002.
"The Week of Peat" is now a regularly released expression, as part of "The Balvenie Stories" range. This Balvenie 14-Year-Old "The Week of Peat" is a gentle introduction to peated whisky, and one I'd highly recommend.
On the Nose
Peat. Obviously. Not overpowering (like some Islay malts), but more on the side of an old bonfire (one that's completely burnt out to just embers), and burnt brown sugar. The sweet and burnt note gives a hint of crème brûlée.
On the palate
Charcoal BBQ with some pepper and smokey caramel sauce. A surprisingly sweet finish, but I think that is not surprising given this is a peated speyside whisky.
Turning down the volume on the smoke, and making both the nose and the taste slightly more buttery, also bringing out some interesting citrus tastes.
A really interesting Balvenie. If you like Peat, or haven't tried it before and aren't brave enough to try the stronger Islay peated whiskies, you'll enjoy this! I really enjoyed it!
Would I buy again?
Absolutely! This Balvenie will be one I buy again, most likely to share with friends and family looking to try peated whisky for the first time.
Want to try it for yourself?
Why not try the Balvenie 14 Year old "The Week of Peat" for yourself? You can pick up a bottle HERE.