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The end of Balvenie 10?

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The end of Balvenie 10?

Postby bernstein » Wed May 04, 2005 8:59 pm

Received a – usually well informed and reliable – newsletter today, which claimed that the end of Balvenie 10 Founders Reserve is about to come. Balvenie Distillery is supposed to take this expression out of their range. I couldn’t find any information on their homepage though. A quick search on the internet was equally without success. Now I’m just wondering: Does anybody have any further information about this? Is it a hoax?

If it turns out to be true, it would be a pity though – I just began to hold the 10 in higher esteem, a nice rich and honeyed Speysider. Nothing really outstanding, but still nice and a good newbies' introduction to their specific range.
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Postby Lawrence » Wed May 04, 2005 11:15 pm

I've not heard anything but I'll check around.

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Postby Admiral » Fri May 06, 2005 11:05 am

Perhaps the 10yo is simply being withdrawn from your local market?

One or two whiskies have been withdrawn from the Australian market (e.g. Macallan sherry wood range), and the retailers have all been sold the line "They don't make it anymore".

In truth, they do still make it......it just doesn't get exported to our shores anymore. But the word on the street is a different matter!

I'm only speculating, of course, but perhaps this could be the case with the Balvenie 10??

**************************************

As an aside, it would be an unusual decision by the Grants if it is true. Balvenie has gone to quite a bit of effort lately to promote its three major expressions (Founders Reserve, Double Wood, and Single Barrel 15yo). It seems strange to suddenly pull one of these from the portfolio?

Cheers,
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Postby Lawrence » Fri May 06, 2005 3:46 pm

I asked our local agent for Balvenie and she said no it's not true, it's the core of their line up and doing very well. Time will tell.

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Postby bernstein » Sat May 07, 2005 7:07 pm

Thank you, Lawrence. I emailed the people at Balvenie's and asked them about this riddle. I'll try to post their response as soon as they react.
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Postby bernstein » Fri May 20, 2005 12:21 am

It’s taking shape more and more, I’m afraid.

Although I haven’t got an official response to my questions of neither Balvenie-Distillery nor of William Grant & Sons up until now, there are increasing signs for verification now. After reading the same message in a couple of newsletters recentIy – after all they might have just copied the original message! - I received today a personal response of one of my reliable internet-retailers (one of the biggest in Germany). They actually strongly confirm the message.

They claim, that they heard this news both from UK in the past year and up-to-date again of their distributor ‘TeamSpirit’ in Rheinberg/Germany. Similar to the Glenfiddich, which changed also from ‘no-age-statement’ to 12 years just recently, Balvenie is about to raise the age of its ‘first malt-in-the-row’ to 12years, they say. Balvenie had to wait thereby up until now since the stock of the 12yo wasn’t sufficient enough in the last years. So the 12yo Double Wood (a 12yo Founder's Reserve?) is effectivly supposed to be the official successor of the 10yo Founder’s Reserve.

Of course they adviced me to stock up now.

Honi soit qui mal y pense…

:wink:
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun May 22, 2005 4:48 am

More questions raised.... Guess we'll find out soon enough. Frankly, I don't think I'll miss it all that much--I have a hard time ordering one if the Doublewood is also available. But will the new 12 be the DW, or will it be the new Founder's Reserve? Just a touch more depth can hardly be a bad thing.
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Postby bernstein » Tue May 31, 2005 5:46 pm

Just for the record:

William Grant & Sons kindly responded to my inquiry concerning Balvenie 10yo today and confirmed that indeed "the longer term plan is to re-position The Balvenie with its starting age at 12years".

That's the end of that.
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Tue May 31, 2005 6:33 pm

Good job finding that out Bernstein!

Skål!
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Postby Tom » Tue May 31, 2005 6:42 pm

Yes, The brand ambassador for belgium said the same.
Although he added that the reason is insufficient casks for the 12Y old.
Whatever the truth, i really dont care why, i find this a disaster for the community.The Balvenie 10 is in my opinion the best starter dram out there, the most honeyed one too. a fabulous dram for a VERY fair price. accesseble and easy going while it gives the enthousiast some complexity too.
its a shame.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue May 31, 2005 6:54 pm

Before we get all in a tizzy, let's find out what exactly is going to happen. Is the Founder's Reserve being discontinued? Or is the Doublewood being discontinued, with 12 the new Founder's Reserve? Or will there be a 12 FR and a 12 DW, or some other configuration we haven't thought of? In any case, I'm not too worried, because I think there will still be something that Balvenie regard as their standard expression, and it will be recognizable to us all as Balvenie. We sometimes forget that this sort of thing goes on all the time for various reasons--it wasn't all that long ago, for example, that the standard expression of Lagavulin was a 12. And some years before that it was likely an 8. Change of this sort is inevitable, but as I say, I think we'll have a lovely honeyed Balvenie for years to come.
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Postby Tom » Tue May 31, 2005 7:51 pm

Well, according to the brand ambassador, the 12 Y Double Wood will become the standard. Thats my point, and i agree its too soon to jump conclusions so dont give me the speculative look, but the Balvenie we know and love is bourbon cask with masses of clean honey. the 12Y old has always been the next step, the alternative balvenie with sherry added.Then comes the 15 wich shows you how the 10 has evolved, bourbon again, on cask strength (or so they say), moving on to the 21Y on Port pipes to have yet another different twist on the honey flavored profile. Alltogether this is great, a large range with many different variations inside, yet it all began with the 10Y old. If it starts with the double matured we lose the Balvenie feeling. the standard bottling is finished in sherry, something you only see back in the 30Y old.i dont know, it just feels wrong. I guess i would rather see the 12Y old dissapear then the 10. Dont get me wrong, i absolutely love all balvenies (exception on the rule being the '89 Port pipe) including the 12 but i feel that the 10 has more value for the masses then the 12.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue May 31, 2005 8:02 pm

Tom wrote:Well, according to the brand ambassador, the 12 Y Double Wood will become the standard.


If that's true, then I share your dismay (although "disaster" seems a bit strong). But I'll reserve judgment until I see something official--this wouldn't be the first time that misinformation had come from presumably solid sources. (We're still waiting for the standard ob Lagavulin 12.)
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Postby Elliot » Sun Jun 05, 2005 5:22 am

Sadly, if the Doublewood becomes the youngest expression in the Balvenie line my consumption of their products will drop drastically as the 15 y/o is a fair bit more expensive and I'm prohibited from drinking sherry cask/finished whisky.
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Postby bernstein » Mon Jun 06, 2005 5:13 am

Tom wrote:the Balvenie we know and love is bourbon cask with masses of clean honey.

Am I mislead ot is it true that The Balvenie Founder's Reserve is in fact a vatting of Balvenie matured in bourbon and sherry casks? Somewhere I read that the ratio is 90/10 – so it would be definitely more on the bourbon side. But nevertheless - it might touch kashrut as well.
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Postby Elliot » Mon Jun 06, 2005 6:20 am

bernstein wrote:Am I mislead ot is it true that The Balvenie Founder's Reserve is in fact a vatting of Balvenie matured in bourbon and sherry casks? Somewhere I read that the ratio is 90/10 – so it would be definitely more on the bourbon side. But nevertheless - it might touch kashrut as well.


Interesting. Both the Star-K and the CRC list Balvenie 10 and 15 as being fine, though I'm not entirely sure why if that is indeed the case. Is it being done to influence the taste?
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Jun 07, 2005 12:30 am

What other reason would there be?

The 15 is very reasonably priced for what it is, in my opinion. What other Scottish distillery has a standard bottling of a single barrel? What do you suppose any of them would charge for a 15yo cask strength single barrel? It's a great malt at any price, and a great value at $50-55, in my book. I believe I'll have one now!
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Postby Elliot » Tue Jun 07, 2005 7:36 am

I would agree that Balvenie 15 is reasonably priced for the product. Perhaps my remarks were unclear - the product is worth its price, but I can't afford that price point for everyday consumption.
As for the taste remark, I was referring to the presence of sherry for flavor vs. mouthfeel.
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Postby Tom » Sat Jun 25, 2005 4:39 pm

bernstein wrote:
Tom wrote:the Balvenie we know and love is bourbon cask with masses of clean honey.

Am I mislead ot is it true that The Balvenie Founder's Reserve is in fact a vatting of Balvenie matured in bourbon and sherry casks? Somewhere I read that the ratio is 90/10 – so it would be definitely more on the bourbon side. But nevertheless - it might touch kashrut as well.

Bernstein you are completely correct. I have no idea why i never looked it up before but indeed it is partially Sherry matured, Oloroso sherry even!. Funny cause i never noticed it in the flavor.
Thank you for pointing that out to me, it actually changes my view on things now.
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