Chivas Brothers has unveiled Ballantine’s 21 Year Old Signature Oak Edition - European Oak, the first of two new limited editions of Ballantine’s Scotch whisky created exclusively for global travel retail. The release of an additional Signature Edition created with American oak will follow.
The Signature Oak Edition – European Oak has been crafted by Ballantine’s master blender Sandy Hyslop and showcases the characteristics and flavours that European oak contributes to the original 21 Year Old blend.
Ensuring this newest expression stays true to the award-winning taste profile of Ballantine’s 21 Year Old, selected whiskies have been matured in quality sherry casks of European oak. Larger than American oak casks, these vessels help to deliver a unique flavour due to their effect on the ageing process.
Sandy Hyslop comments: “I nose each and every cask to ensure a balance between the liquid and the wood, something George Ballantine - a pioneer in the art of maturing whisky in quality casks - would have approved of. With the Ballantine’s 21 Year Old Signature Oak Editions, I wanted to pay tribute to our founder and release expressions that demonstrate to consumers how cask maturation and oak influence transform our whisky.
“Providing a rich taste profile, the European oak has enhanced the notes of raisin, fruitcake, sherry and spice within the 21 Year Old blend so I am certain that it will become a must-have addition to the cabinet of selective whisky collectors.”
Peter Moore, global brand director for Ballantine’s, adds: “The Signature Oak Editions will engage consumers with an interesting journey across different types of cask maturation. Supporting the launch of the Ballantine’s 21 Year Old Signature Oak Edition – European Oak, our GTR displays will highlight different elements that consumers can relate to. We will focus on colour, taste and smell to showcase how European oak casks produce a very specific effect on our selected malts, enhancing the quality and personality of our whisky.
“Consumers purchasing through travel retail are looking for innovation and uniqueness beyond what they can buy in domestic markets. I’m confident that Ballantine’s fans and whisky connoisseurs alike will enjoy the Ballantine’s 21 Year Old Signature Oak Edition – European Oak and look forward to our next launch to complete this special collectors’ set.”
Available in Global Travel Retail, the Ballantine’s 21 Year Old Signature Oak Edition – European Oak is bottled at 40% ABV and available to purchase at an RRP of US$225. The release of the Signature Oak Editions builds on the success of the Ballantine’s 17 Year Old Signature Distillery Editions, launched in 2012, which paid tribute to four key signature malts in the 17 Year Old blend and the distilleries that produce them.
23 November 2015 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor