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Balvenie 15 year Single Barrel Question

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Balvenie 15 year Single Barrel Question

Postby Apollo11 » Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:31 pm

Hello to everyone,

I am a new member to this forum, but I have been drinking SMSW and other whiskeys for 6 years now.

I have a question reguarding the labels on the 15 year Balvenie Single Barrel. I have been drinking this stuff for a few years and on the label the cask number, in cask date, and the bottling date are always printed via a computer, and the bottle number is written by hand. I just picked up a new bottle, and all of those numbers are hand written. I know this may be trivial, but I was curious and I knew this place would be the best place to ask short of calling the Grant company.

Any insight would be great, thank you.

Derrick :angel:
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Re: Balvenie 15 year Single Barrel Question

Postby mikeymad » Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:41 pm

Cheers Apollo, welcome to the Forum, and good question. There is probably just going to be speculation on most of our part (including my own).

I would think that there would be printing runs for the lables, and the only thing I could think about would be that there is either a printing mistake or an underrun (they have more bottles than lables printed), so they would hand write the extra lables to finish off the run.

Is your bottle number high? (over 200)

btw, I like this beverage.


Cheers,
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Re: Balvenie 15 year Single Barrel Question

Postby TheTross » Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:45 pm

Welcome to the forums Apollo11 :D

Maybe the printer had run out of ink on that day? :wink:

Hmm, interesting. Just looked at my one and only bottle of Balvenie 15 and yes, everything but the bottle number is printed. Might be to symbolise rarity perhaps?

And I like this this whisky too, though I seem to reach for the DW more often!
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Re: Balvenie 15 year Single Barrel Question

Postby Willie JJ » Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:50 pm

mikeymad wrote:the only thing I could think about would be that there is either a printing mistake or an underrun (they have more bottles than lables printed), so they would hand write the extra lables to finish off the run.

That seems the most likely thing to me. I've only ever seen the labels printed and the ones I have are all that way.

Oh yeah and welcome to the forum Derrick :thumbsup:
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Re: Balvenie 15 year Single Barrel Question

Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:57 pm

I'd bet dollars to donuts (whatever that means!) that those "hand-written" numbers are printed, also, just made to look hand-written. Go look at two bottles from the same run in the shop and see whether the "writing" on similar numbers is exactly the same. I kind of doubt that David Stewart signs all the labels and tubes, either! The difference may be a deliberate change of style--I'll have to go look at a few bottles around town.

This was a favorite of mine for a long time, nd it's been quite a while since I had one. I think I will have to rectify that.
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Re: Balvenie 15 year Single Barrel Question

Postby Willie JJ » Fri Mar 14, 2008 11:01 pm

That's certainly possible Bruce, but unless they have found a way to print the consecutive bottle numbers on the labels (not impossible I know) then I would think That Derrick would be able to spot the difference between the printed font and the handwritten number.
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Re: Balvenie 15 year Single Barrel Question

Postby Apollo11 » Sat Mar 15, 2008 12:23 am

This one is clearly hand writing, and from my "experience" it is a females writing. You can clearly see the ink is uneven and there are spots where the ink is collected hevier then others (like when writing with a sharpie and you hold the pen too long on one spot). If you look at how the rest of the fields on the lables are printed and then look at the bottle numbers they are very different-and when comparing the bottle numbers they are all different.

I'm not saying David Stewart wrote it, but someone with a human hand and a red fine tipped marker wrote on my label.

Thanks again for all of the quick responses--please keep the ideas comming.

Derrick
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Re: Balvenie 15 year Single Barrel Question

Postby Deactivated Member » Sat Mar 15, 2008 3:00 am

No donuts for me, then!
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Re: Balvenie 15 year Single Barrel Question

Postby Lawrence » Sun Mar 16, 2008 6:04 pm

Why don't you ask William Grant, they will give you an answer, let us know too.

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Re: Balvenie 15 year Single Barrel Question

Postby Apollo11 » Sun Mar 16, 2008 10:42 pm

Lawrence wrote:Why don't you ask William Grant, they will give you an answer, let us know too.

Lawrence


Sounds good, on Monday I'm going to give them a quick call-this thing has peaked my intrest. I'll let you all know when I find something out.

Seams like one of those things that is prolly small, but it's different so I really want to find out.
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Re: Balvenie 15 year Single Barrel Question

Postby Apollo11 » Thu Mar 20, 2008 4:41 am

OK---So I called Willam Grant and Sons and spoke with Lynn, the brand manager for Balvenie. She gave me an answer...kind of. After confirming with me that the only field that is usually hand written is the bottle number; and confirming that my label was different then any of the other bottles I have ever purchased, she was surprised. I guess that there must have been some kind of error in the label making of this cask (as a lot of you have suggested). It seams that the bottle is like a coin with a mistake on it-nothing intended to be special, but different so it becomes unique.

Lynn is going to research further with the folks at Balvenie. I'll keep you all posted.
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Re: Balvenie 15 year Single Barrel Question

Postby mikeymad » Thu Mar 20, 2008 7:35 am

Cheers Thanks for the research.

Simple....
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Re: Balvenie 15 year Single Barrel Question

Postby Reggaeblues » Thu Mar 20, 2008 11:10 am

Interesting thread. I have similar questions re: the batch number on the abunadh! Hand written or printed to "resemble" hand-written?

The 15 has always been my favourite Balvenie. I particularly enjoyed the version a few years back at 50.4%.
really rich. this was followed by a much drier version at 47.8 which I didn't enjoy quite as much but which was still excellent and distinctive. Yum.

Has anyone else tried different "batches" and have a favourite?
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Re: Balvenie 15 year Single Barrel Question

Postby suffolkwhisky » Thu Mar 20, 2008 11:44 am

I have been drinking the Balvenie 15 pretty continously for the last 15 years (well ok with time off for work and sleep). As it is single barrel pretty much every bottle will be a different "batch". For me the whisky varies between very good and outstanding. I remember a couple of bottles being truly exceptional. I don't keep records so have no idea which bottlings they were!
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Re: Balvenie 15 year Single Barrel Question

Postby OKDiver1 » Thu Mar 20, 2008 6:07 pm

Reggaeblues wrote:Interesting thread. I have similar questions re: the batch number on the abunadh! Hand written or printed to "resemble" hand-written?

Just checked my A'bunadh batch 13, and both batch number and ABV are printed -- both on the box and the bottle.
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Re: Balvenie 15 year Single Barrel Question

Postby mikeymad » Thu Mar 20, 2008 7:17 pm

suffolkwhisky wrote: For me the whisky varies between very good and outstanding. I remember a couple of bottles being truly exceptional. I don't keep records so have no idea which bottlings they were!


That is the great thing and the bad thing about this. You can get a great cask now and then. But even if you did keep records, no one could ever find them anyway....

I will be trying 3 of them in next weeks tasting, If I find a great one, I will let everyone know (after I buy another one).

Maybe we turn this into a Great Barrels of 15yo thread.

Cheers,
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Re: Balvenie 15 year Single Barrel Question

Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Mar 21, 2008 12:31 am

If I happened to find one I thought really outstanding, I'd perhaps return to the shop and look for others. But generally, you get what you get, and I think that's great. There's too much emphasis on trying to repeat experiences, or get what someone else had, and not enough enjoying the moment.

Kind of like musical artists--someone new and exciting comes along, and people say, "Wow! That was fresh and exciting and different! Do another one just like it!"
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Re: Balvenie 15 year Single Barrel Question

Postby Apollo11 » Fri Mar 21, 2008 2:35 am

I love what this thread has become! :thumbsup:

I would love for people to review their Single Barrel experiences. Perhaps we wont be able to find the individual cask numbers, but maybe there are some trends from those whiskies distilled in or around the same years--who knows.

Cheers!!!
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Re: Balvenie 15 year Single Barrel Question

Postby Ganga » Fri Mar 21, 2008 4:11 am

MrTattieHeid wrote:If I happened to find one I thought really outstanding, I'd perhaps return to the shop and look for others. But generally, you get what you get, and I think that's great. There's too much emphasis on trying to repeat experiences, or get what someone else had, and not enough enjoying the moment.

Kind of like musical artists--someone new and exciting comes along, and people say, "Wow! That was fresh and exciting and different! Do another one just like it!"


Bingo. I love experiencing different expressions of malts. And a single bottle will provide multiple experiences as it oxidizes.
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