The Tasting Panel magazine

September 2013

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The Balvenie Range: A World of Perfection DoubleWood: Aged 12 years in first-fill ex-bourbon and sherry casks, with a mellow flavor and a dash of oloroso spice. Caribbean Cask: Ex-West Indies rum casks lend a finishing creamy toffee and dried fruit touch to this 14 year old whisky. Single Barrel 12 Year Old: Aged for 12 years, this limited edition provides a 96.8 proof individuality to no more than 300 bottles. Single Barrel 15 Year Old: Only 350 hand-numbered bottles are produced per barrel of this deep and lingering whisky. DoubleWood 17: A more complex version of the 12 Year Old, accentuating the characteristics of bourbon and sherry barrel aging. Peated Cask: Delicately smoky, this 17 year old whisky was finished in barrels previously used for a heavily peated spirit. Portwood 21 Year Old: A rich and full-flavored single malt finished in port casks, giving it extra body and a nut-like spice. Tun 1401: Every year the vatting changes, inspired by the uniqueness of The Balvenie's Warehouse 24. Balvenie 30 Year Old: Silky smooth and honeyed, with great depth. Balvenie 40 Year Old: Licorice, olives and vanilla are just a few of the flavors that explode on the palate. Balvenie 50 Year Old: Released last year to commemorate Malt Master David Stewart's 50th year with the distillery, only 88 bottles could be filled from the original Cask #5576, with flavors of butterscotch and honeysoaked cherries. persmithing, cooperage and the skills of David Stewart, the longest-reigning Malt Master in whisky history. Lorne's six-foot-one frame fit easily into the PHOTO: FRED MINNICK Thus, one day a friend, Glenfiddich Brand Ambassador Mitch Bechard, told him of a brand ambassador opening at The Balvenie. And the rest, as they say, is history. Which brings us back to Chateau Marmont, where we left the starstudded restaurant and headed out to the valet stand, which was manned by a lightly-bearded attendant who looked suspiciously like Tom Cruise, obviously working his day job; acting is such a transitory business. After vehemently denying he had starred in Oblivion, Tom fetched Lorne's car. It was exactly the vehicle you would expect Lorne to drive, a speciallydesigned Balvenie-branded 2002 replica of a 1936 Morgan Plus 8 roadster, hand built with a wooden frame (as they all are) by the Morgan Motor Company of Worcestershire, England. The car is part of The Balvenie's Masters of Craft awards promotion that honors individual craftsmanship, and reflects the distillery's own five crafts of homegrown barley, floor maltings, cop- As a Brand Ambassador, much of Lorne's work is event focused. Here, Lorne takes a quick break from serving up drams at the William Grant & Sons opening party during Tales of the Cocktail. Morgan and he handled the four-speed stick shift with the smoothness of a Balvenie DoubleWood. He's driven this car twice across the country on pro- motional jaunts, but whether by car or plane, he travels three weeks a month. "Education is a big part of our role as brand ambassadors: meeting the public, doing events and training bartenders and waitstaff," Lorne said as we drove down Sunset Boulevard, heading towards Beverly Hills. "We represent the Balvenie brand, the distillery and the Grant family as well. So it's an honor for me to be in this position; I'm very fortunate." After a brief stop at Will Rogers Memorial Park, we visited Mastro's Steak House and met their new General Manager, Patrick Barrett, along with Beverly Hills Restaurant Manager Jarred Tosto, who told us Mastro's stocks every expression of The Balvenie except the 40 Year Old. He proved it by opening the safe and bringing out the rare 50 Year Old. At $30,000 apiece, only ten bottles have been allocated for the U.S., and Mastro's has one of them, which it sells for $3,700 a pour. Lorne nodded knowingly. After all, every bottle of The Balvenie is music to his ears. september 2013  /  the tasting panel  /  93 TP0913_063-103.indd 93 8/22/13 9:24 PM

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