Tuesday, October 23, 2018


William Grant & Sons, has announced the launch of the fourth and penultimate chapter of its Balvenie DCS Compendium series, comprised of five distinct vintages, completely different to The Balvenie’s usual style, that would have otherwise never existed.

The exclusive collection, is said to bring to life the lasting mystery, magic and alchemy inherent in whisky maturation, highlighting how Malt Master David C. Stewart MBE’s, 56 years in the industry has mastered the art of nurturing the unexpected.

The Balvenie Compendium Series, Chapter Four

The oldest bottling in this latest chapter, is the 1971 matured in refill European oak Oloroso sherry butts. Its high level of richness and spice led David to initially think that a clerical error had been made and the liquid had in fact been matured in refill casks. Researching further, he found that no error had been made and the liquid’s unique profile was a pure and unexpected rarity.

Each set is accompanied by The Balvenie DCS Compendium book, written by former Balvenie Global Ambassador Dr. Samuel J. Simmons. The book, individually signed by David, details each of the five DCS Compendium chapters and documents his personal thoughts in curating the compendium.

The full Balvenie DCS Compendium Chapter Four, is comprised of:

1971 - 47 YR – European oak Oloroso sherry butt (49.9% ABV)
1982 - 36 YR – European oak Oloroso sherry hogshead (51.1% ABV)
1992 – 26 YR - European oak Oloroso sherry puncheon (49.8% ABV)
1999 – 18 YR - Refill American oak hogshead (46.8% ABV)
2009 – 9 YR - First-fill American oak bourbon barrel (64.6% ABV)

Commenting on the launch, David C. Stewart MBE, said: “Despite spending many years studying the science and art of whisky maturation, there are still occasions when I find myself pleasantly surprised with the unexpected direction a liquid has taken. The nature of whisky making is unpredictable and in the case of The Balvenie DCS Chapter Four, means a selection of remarkable and distinctly different liquids have been released that would otherwise never have seen the light of day.”

He went onto say: “Each of the five liquids in Chapter Four present highly unusual and unexpected characteristics that we wouldn’t have thought possible from the type of oak they matured in and the maturation time they’ve been given. It’s incredibly exciting. Chapter Four gives us the opportunity to celebrate these twists and turns and allows us to release an extraordinary series of vintages, strides apart from our usual styles.”

The Balvenie DCS Compendium: Chapter Four ‘Expecting the Unexpected’, will be available next month, from Harrods, Hedonism, The Whisky Exchange, Master of Malt and The Whisky Shop, for a RRP of £29,000.

Posted by Steve Rush