Is Balvenie a smoky whiskey?

Answered by Robert Dupre

Balvenie is primarily known for its range of single malt Scotch whiskies, and while some of their expressions do have a hint of smokiness, it is not typically considered a smoky whisky brand. However, they do have one particular release that showcases a peated style of whisky – The Balvenie Peat Week.

The Balvenie Peat Week is a limited edition whisky that was distilled using 100% peated malt. This means that during the malting process, the barley used to make the whisky was dried using peat smoke, which imparts a distinct smoky flavor to the whisky. Peat is essentially decomposed vegetation that is found in certain areas, and when it is burned, it releases a unique smoky aroma and flavor.

In the case of The Balvenie Peat Week, the peated malt was aged in three different types of casks – first-fill bourbon, refill bourbon, and sherry casks. Each of these cask types contributes its own characteristics to the final whisky, resulting in a complex and well-rounded flavor profile.

The first-fill bourbon casks impart vanilla and honey notes, while the refill bourbon casks add layers of oak and spice. The sherry casks, on the other hand, bring in a sweetness and richness to the whisky. Combined with the smoky peat influence, this creates a unique and intriguing combination of flavors.

When tasting The Balvenie Peat Week, you can expect to be greeted by a prominent smoky aroma, reminiscent of campfire smoke and charred wood. On the palate, there are notes of sweet cinnamon and ginger, which add a touch of spiciness to the whisky. The smokiness is well-integrated, not overpowering but rather complementing the other flavors.

It is important to note that The Balvenie Peat Week is a limited edition release, so availability may be limited. However, if you are a fan of smoky whiskies or simply curious to try a peated expression from Balvenie, it is certainly worth seeking out.

While Balvenie is not generally known for producing smoky whiskies, they do offer a unique and flavorful peated expression in the form of The Balvenie Peat Week. This whisky showcases the smoky side of Balvenie, with the peat influence combining harmoniously with sweet and spicy notes from the different cask types used in its maturation. It is a must-try for those looking to explore the peated whiskies from this renowned distillery.