A few weeks ago I got an opportunity to indulge in some of the most expensive whiskies available from The Macallan. It was a dram come true for many a whisky lover. The No 6. The M. The dream. Just when I thought I had woken up, like the movie Inception, I must have been subject to a dream within a dream. Even with the first kick of leaving the Macallan event, just a few short weeks later, I found myself drinking one of the most expensive whiskies to have ever existed.
[The Balvenie 50 Year Cask 191.]
I don’t know what you’re thinking but I know what I was thinking… did it taste like $40,000?
Some would argue that no whisky is worth that price of admission but for something distilled in 1952 only to be disturbed again in 2002, it’s hard to say that the cost per bottle wouldn’t be astronomically high considering the years of storage, care, and the angel’s share.
The color was a dark red. So dark red that it looked black any time you were looking at the edges of the dram in direct light. It was impossible to see through the bottle.
The nose had hints of fruit sweetness and actually made me believe that the pour would be on the lighter side of the palate. I was expecting something more typical of Balvenie’s signature profile but I am so glad I was wrong.
Uncharacteristic of Balvenie, the palate was an explosion of flavor. It’s typical of older whiskies that they can lose a lot of vibrancy and life from so many years in the cask but this 50 year old was alive and kicking! David Stewart, MBE., continued to try and assure me of the sweetness that I was tasting but my palate disagreed quite a bit. Yes, about 25% of what I was tasting was similar to raw sugar but the other 75% of the palate was definitely filled with spices. It wasn’t over whelming but it was definitely in your face. Amazing.
The finish was soft and unassuming, not too short and not too long.
I’m not sure what my brain was expecting beyond the honeyed and softer notes we’ve come to expect from Balvenie as of late but I definitely didn’t mind being surprised. This was bold. This was borderline brash. This was brilliant.
I’m so thankful that I had an opportunity to try it. It was certainly once in a life time and lately I’ve felt like I’ve been living enough to last a few.
Without further ado, my video interview of David Stewart, MBE. is below along with pictures from the event.
[The setup for the interview]
[@TheScotchFather and @theScotchWhisperer talking]
[Aaron of @whisky.arch interviewing DCS MBE]
[David C. Stewart, MBE.]
[A little group picture action! (thanks Jason for snapping this)]
[Tracie from Glenfiddich (@glenfiddichtf) with DCS MBE]
[Tim of @Whiskey_Library_DC speaking with Jack Rose owner @Mashbill_Thomas]
[Eric of @ScotchAndTime being ridiculous :P]
[Tim of @Whiskey_Library_DC with DCS MBE]
[Raising a toast to @theScotchFather]
[Tracie (@GlenfiddichTF) exchanging a glance with Jen H. of Momentum who handles the marketing for WMG&S in the DC area!]
[All eyes on David]