Whisky Focus - Balvenie Peat Week 14 Year Old 2002 Review

The Balvenie Peat Week 14 Year Old 2002 Vintage Review

25th August 2017
Review of The Balvenie Peat Week 14 Year Old, the new peaty addition to the Balvenie core range which was made from 100% peated barley.

The Balvenie Peat Week 14 Year Old is a new addition to The Balvenie core range. Produced using 100% peated barley this is sure to capture the interest of the Balvenie fans amongst you.

Since 2002 The Balvenie distillery has dedicated one week of production per year to producing a spirit using 100% peated barley, the specification of the barley being 30 PPM Phenols. Now this is the peating level of the barley not the final peat level of the bottled whisky which will be considerably less after distillation and 14 years of maturation.

The Balvenie Peat Week 2002 Vintage which was distilled during week 37 of 52 of 2002 will be released this coming September 2017, it is a single vintage bottling, limited and rare by nature. Non-chill filtered and bottled at 48.3% ABV it will launch exclusively to the UK, USA, Denmark and Sweden in September. Peat Week was matured solely in American Oak casks.

The new whisky was produced using malted barley that was infused with locally sourced Highland peat which in comparison to Islay peat has a distinct difference in biological arrangement that imparts a different flavour on the malted barley and in turn a much more delicate influence on the final whisky so don't be looking for a Peat Monster but a more refined peated Highlander or to be more geographically accurate a Peated Speysider.

The Balvenie Peat Week 14 Year Old follows the launch of the excellent The Balvenie 14 Year Old Peated Triple Cask in travel retail in June this year and having tasted both I can say that the Peat Week is the more delicate of the two new peaty Balvenie's.

Commenting on the two new peaty Balvenie releases, David Stewart MBE said: "Being able to experiment with different elements of whisky making and stock management is one of the most exciting and important parts of my job. The new peated expressions are a result of our continued efforts to innovate and trial flavours not typically associated with The Balvenie. They are testament to the freedom we enjoy as a family company. These whiskies show The Balvenie in an unexpected way, but still remains true to the distillery style our drinkers enjoy."

The Balvenie Peat Week 14 Year Old will be available from specialist online whisky shops such as Master of Malt

The Balvenie Peat Week 14 Year Old 2002 Vintage Review

William Morrison's Tasting Notes:

Nose: Very gentle honey and citrus with the most delicate twist of peat smoke, some very distant lavender and ginger.

Gentle pear, lemon and a touch of peach balances with the equally gentle honey and vanilla, all the time the very delicate Highland smoke is in the background.

Finish: Sugary mild lemon grist with a touch of vanilla and honey fade to leave the delicious now more pronounced Highland smoke and some oak spice clinging to the mouth.

Comment: A very very delicately smoked nose and it starts very slowly on the palate but hold it there and you will be well rewarded. The smoke is shy on the nose and shy at first on the palate but after a few mouthfuls you will be versed in this delicate style of Highland peat smoke. It is no peat monster, it is a delicately smoked Balvenie but certainly a very interesting and enjoyable Balvenie, I would guess that the PPM for the final distilled and bottled whisky is around 8 - 10 PPM.

A welcome new addition to The Balvenie core range and a must for any Balvenie fan. There is also a new peated travel retail Balvenie available which I found very enjoyable, see here The Balvenie 14 Year Old Peated Triple Cask

SMW Score 88/100


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