Spirit Cruises Summer 2019 Leaderboard

Nominate an Artisan for The Balvenie Rare Craft Roadshow

by The Drink Nation on Apr 6, 2012 in Liquor

Not all Scotch is alike, and finding a great one takes a lot more than just a glance at the number of years the whisky has been aged. Scots have been turning barley into liquor for hundreds of years, but of all the distilleries still operating in the northern United Kingdom country, only a smattering still use the traditional techniques that led to the rise of the brown spirit. One of these is The Balvenie, arguably the only fully hand-crafted Scotch produced en masse today.

Travelling in a 1930s, wood-chassis Morgan convertible, a group of spirited Scotsman is currently making its way across the United States, highlighting the hand-crafted techniques used to make The Balvenie while also shining a spotlight on American artisans they find along the way. At the finish of the journey, one special craftsperson will receive a $5000 grant and a chance to apprentice at the distillery in Scotland.

The Whisky


In Dufftown, in the Speyside region of Scotland, The Balvenie is distilled today with the same care and personal attention as it has been since its founding in 1886. Family-owned William Grant & Sons now purveys brands that range from Glenfiddich to Hendrick’s Gin to Sailor Jerry Rum, but within this portfolio, The Balvenie line of spirits is something special.

All of the barley used in production is grown on-site at the grounds surrounding the historic Balvenie Castle, in fields that William Grant himself first planted. After a harvest, the grain is spread on the malting floor and turned by hand up to four times a day before being roasted in the kiln, an original method that produces unique results and occurs at no other distillery.

When ready, the grain is fermented and alcohol extracted in hand-hammered copper pot stills, overseen by a full-time coppersmith, and then transferred to special wooden casks. While most Scotch is aged in a combination of used bourbon (and sometimes sherry) barrels, The Balvenie breaks apart each barrel purchased, selects the best pieces of wood, and rebuilds custom holding casks in its own on-site cooperage.

Once the liquor has aged appropriately, it is finished in a variety of ways (aged in special rum casks for several months, for example, or in port pipes), and then bottled for consumption. But who decides what “appropriately” is? A single malt master is in charge of this part of the process, and David Stewart has been this man for 45 years running.

The Roadshow


So, what does this have to do with America? On their trip through the United States, The Balvenie ambassadors Nicholas Pollacchi and Lorne Cousin are searching out craftsmen and women who also take this same care in building their products, and showcasing each one on a special website created for the campaign.

Artisans from glassblowers to anvil builders to bicycle mechanics to people who hand-sew canvas tote bags have received visits from the liquor company, and each is in the running for a grand prize. Five of these artisans will be nominated for the Balvenie Rare Craft Fellowship, which will offer one person a $5,000 grant toward materials as well as a trip to Scotland and chance to apprentice at the distillery. The other four will receive $2,000 each and a trip to New York City to showcase their work.

Do you know someone deserving of this honor? Head to the website to nominate him or her by filling out a very short form, with an optional photo upload, and your craftsperson could receive a visit from these traveling Scots, with the chance to win much more.

Photos by Danya Henninger

Recent Articles
spacer

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
Local Winery Spotlight: Vox Vineti Wines

Local Winery Spotlight: Vox Vineti Wines

Ed Lazzerini says his goal is clear - to make world class wine in Pennsylvania. From the taste of it, he is well on his way. ...read more ›

by Drink Philly Nov 21, 2020
Best Bars for Outdoor Drinking in Philadelphia, 2019

Best Bars for Outdoor Drinking in Philadelphia, 2019

Whether it's to enjoy the first warm breezes of spring or the unexpected sunshine of a crisp day in fall, Philadelphia is full of great places to drin...read more ›

by Drink Philly Apr 11, 2019
The History of The Boulevardier Cocktail - and How You Can Make it at Home

The History of The Boulevardier Cocktail - and How You Can Make it at Home

In this history segment, we take a closer look at a classic cocktail: The Boulevardier....read more ›

by The Drink Nation Nov 2, 2020
SPONSORED
The Best Cocktail Bars in Philadelphia

The Best Cocktail Bars in Philadelphia

Here it is - the definitive list of Philadelphia's best cocktail bars....read more ›

by Drink Philly Dec 13, 2017
PA Voter Project Seeks to Pay Unemployed Restaurant Workers to Work Election Polls

PA Voter Project Seeks to Pay Unemployed Restaurant Workers to Work Election Polls

Power the Polls PA is looking for unemployed restaurant workers to work the polls and will pay for their time....read more ›

by Drink Philly Sep 16, 2020
You Can Now Get Cocktails To-Go in Center City Philadelphia

You Can Now Get Cocktails To-Go in Center City Philadelphia

Restaurants throughout the Center City limits are offering pre-made cocktails in special take out containers...read more ›

by Drink Philly Jul 18, 2020
Cocktails to Go in Bars & Restaurants Legalized in PA During Lockdown: Here's Where to Get Them in Philadelphia

Cocktails to Go in Bars & Restaurants Legalized in PA During Lockdown: Here's Where to Get Them in Philadelphia

Bars & restaurants in PA can now sell cocktails-to-go. Here's where to find them in Philadelphia...read more ›

by Drink Philly May 21, 2020
Relief for the Bar, Restaurant, & Hospitality Industry in Philadelphia

Relief for the Bar, Restaurant, & Hospitality Industry in Philadelphia

Right now the hospitality industry is—to put it lightly—struggling. We created a resource directory for an...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Mar 20, 2020
Where to Host a Private Event in Philadelphia

Where to Host a Private Event in Philadelphia

Whether it's for the holidays or you have a special birthday coming up, Philadelphia has some amazing options when it comes to event spaces. ...read more ›

by Drink Philly Nov 26, 2018
Where to Find Beer, Wine, & Liquor To Go in Philadelphia During the Pandemic

Where to Find Beer, Wine, & Liquor To Go in Philadelphia During the Pandemic

Bars and restaurants are officially closed (and offering take-out and delivery only), so your favorite bartend...read more ›

by Drink Philly Mar 18, 2020
SPONSORED
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close