Ashley Coates asks some of the lucky few that have tried the 1972 release from Balvenie
The Balvenie DCS Compendium Chapter II
They stare down at you from glass cabinets in London’s high-end retailers, seemingly untouchable. But what does a whisky in this category actually taste like, and how does it get to be so expensive?
To answer these questions, I looked to some of the experts in the business, all of which have been given the chance to sample the recently released 1972 Balvenie from the DCS Compendium Chapter II.Balvenie does not specialise in ultra-rare whiskies. The Speyside distillery offers some comparatively reasonably priced and popular variations, the 12-Year Doublewood, the 14-year Caribbean Cask and the 17-Year Doublewood being amongst the best known and most appreciated.But this year was a special one for Balvenie. It’s the 53rd year in which its Malt Master, David Charles Stewart MBE, has been creating world-famous whiskies for the firm. Having been appointed Master Distiller to Balvenie back in 1974, he’s the longest serving master distiller in the whisky industry. The DCS Compendium has been made to honour 50 years in the business and is an “unconventional handover note” from David, who said at the time of the release: “I had to leaf through ledgers, search computer records, and had to hop, quite literally, barrel over barrel to seek them out in the various warehouses”. There will be five 'chapters' in the compendium, each consisting of five rare whiskies, released over five years....MUCH MORE