The Balvenie Distillery was built in 1892 by the Grants of Glenfiddich near the ruins of the fourteenth-century castle by the same name. The charming, whitewashed distillery is just a stone's throw from Glenfiddich, and both are still family-owned by the Grants. The two distilleries share the same water source, and the stills at Balvenie are heated using the waste heat from Glenfiddich. However, that is where the similarities end because the whiskies are completely different in character.
The Balvenie Distillery grows its own barley, still does its own floor maltings (producing around 10-15% of its needs), has its own cooper to maintain the barrels in which its whisky is matured, and has its own coppersmith to take care of its stills. Balvenie was one of the earliest pioneers in experimentation with wood management, casting whiskies of various ages with relish into a broad palette of oak types. In particular, it focuses on double maturation, first in ex-Bourbon barrels and then in ex-Sherry barrels. Exceptionally old spirits are occasionally released from Balvenie, including a 60-year-old celebrating Master Blender David Stewart’s six decades with the distillery. Limited releases highlighting the work of the Balvenie cooperage are also part of the range.
(Adapted from the Malt Whisky Yearbook 2024)