A popular Highland distillery is set to move away from its current ‘vintage-only’ approach with the release of a brand new collection of age-statement single malt whiskies. 

The new range from Balblair distillery will be available in the UK this month and rolled out globally from April 2019.

Balblair

Balblair Distillery. Picture: Balblair

The series features four hand-selected whiskies, all of which retain the distillery’s Highland character and will replace all existing Balblair expressions.

The core collection includes:

• 12-Year-Old – matured in American oak ex-bourbon and double-fired American oak casks, with notes of dried orange, ground spices and sweet vanilla.

• 15-Year-Old – matured initially in American oak ex-bourbon casks, followed by first-fill Spanish oak butts, with notes of dark chocolate, tropical fruit and creamy vanilla.

• 18-Year-Old – matured initially in American oak ex-bourbon casks, followed by first-fill Spanish oak butts, with notes of juicy apricots, vanilla custard and raisins.

• 25-Year-Old – matured initially in American oak ex-bourbon casks then reshaped in Oloroso Spanish oak, with notes of oily citrus, chocolate praline, fresh tobacco leaf and blood oranges.

Signalling a new era for Balblair, the distilling team say each expression will offer its own unique appeal.

John MacDonald, distillery manager at Balblair, said: “As one of the oldest working distilleries in the Scottish Highlands, Balblair has a long and rich history of crafting premium single malt Scotch whisky.

“We are proud of our heritage and we will continue to honour our centuries-old traditions, but we also look forward in a quiet pursuit of perfection.

“Our new collection is intrinsically linked to our heritage and is testament to the place and the people behind our whisky, while being emblematic of our ‘True Highland Spirit’. I believe that anyone trying it for the first time will get a greater understanding of the time, experience and care that goes into creating it.”

The packaging for the new collection will reflect the distillery’s idyllic location and take inspiration from the Pictish ‘Z-rod’ carvings etched on the ancient Clach Biorach standing stone located on the distillery’s doorstep.

Matthew Jamieson, brand manager for Balblair, added: “Our whisky isn’t changing: Balblair will always be a single malt Scotch whisky of premium quality, with a true Highland strength of character.

“We’re immensely proud of our new collection and confident that the revived look and taste will appeal to the full spectrum of whisky drinkers, from aficionado to novice. We look forward to sharing it with Balblair drinkers around the world and hope they will savour it as much as we do.”

The core collection – priced between £45 and £500 – launches in the UK on 28 March 2019, followed by other global markets including Russia, France, Germany and China from April 2019.

About The Author

Sean Murphy

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.

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