By Stefanie Collins, editor bars&clubs
Three years after the initial release of Ballantine’s most exclusive 40 Year Old blend, in March of 2012, just six bottles of the original 100 will be on sale in Australia.
Priced at $11,000 each – a result of both the rarity of the whisky and the unique packaging that was specifically commissioned for it – the Scotch whisky will be offered exclusively at Dan Murphy’s Double Bay.
The work of Ballantine’s fifth Master Blender, Sandy Hyslop, Ballantine’s 40 Year Old was created to mark an aspiration of founder, George Ballantine, to produce an exceptional whisky that would carry his family’s name and continue his legacy.
Hyslop began creating the whisky by consulting an inventory of aged whiskies, which had been laid down by previous Master Blenders, to see which would be of sufficient quality to create the new blend.
“Every single whisky I blend for Ballantine’s is a delicate balance of flavours and aromas, but creating a 40 Year Old demanded even more,” says Hyslop. “For this, I was working with tiny quantities of extremely old and very rare whiskies, so the process required very precise attention to detail.”
Hyslop believes that the resulting blend is one that George Ballantine himself would be proud to have carry his name.
“It has been an honour to realise his aspiration and to contribute towards this significant moment in the history of Ballantine’s Scotch whisky,” he says.
No whisky in the blend is under forty years old, with each component whisky being drawn from stocks of high aged, priceless whiskies that the company has curated over many generations.
To complement the whisky, British Silversmith Richard Fox was commissioned to create the bottle. The vessel features the Ballantine’s crest and signature, etched into the glass and inlaid with gold, along with five sterling silver elements. Each one of the 100 bottles is additionally engraved with a unique number, from 1 to 100.
According to Ballantine’s Global Brand Director, Peter Moore, the 40 Year Old epitomises everything Ballantine’s Scotch has stood for since the company’s founding.
“As the culmination of a unique heritage of producing high aged whiskies, Ballantine’s 40 is the most aspirational Scotch whisky in the world,” he says. “[It] will appeal to connoisseurs with a passion for Scotch whisky and who will recognise what an experience it will be to taste such an exceptional whisky and a unique part of Ballantine’s history”.
On the nose, the whisky features flavours of ripe, fruity, pears in syrup, with rich fruitcake and background hints of cinnamon and root ginger. On the palate it has intense toffee and caramel, plus sweet soft red apple. The finish is significant and long lasting.
The Ballantine’s 40 Year Old will be available exclusively from Dan Murphy’s Double Bay from Monday 18 May, 2015.
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