Monday, 9 March 2009

Ballantine's Whisky Leaves an Impression

Distilled in Scotland for over a century, Ballantine's has become a veritable benchmark in the world of scotch whiskies.The producers of Ballantine's were the first to recognize the benefits of long ageing in the barrel. This technique, previously reserved for ports or fortified wines, gives Ballantine's premium whiskies their very distinctive flavour.

Ballantine's is the 2nd largest whisky in the world today with sales of 6.4million 9 litre cases worldwide equating to 2 bottles every second being purchased. Ballantine’s has won over 60 trophies and medals in the last 10 years at international competitions.

Ballantine's Finest
The refinement of aromas since 1910Both subtle and elegant, Ballantine's Finest is the most famous whisky in the Ballantine's range. Produced from over 50 single malts, it reveals an inimitable, perfectly balanced taste. Delicate nuances of chocolate, apple and vanilla make this blended scotch whisky a "must".
In the spotlight Colour: Pale gold.Nose: Deep, with spicy notes.Palate: Well balanced with hints of chocolate, apple and vanilla followed by a delicately floral finish.Finish: Sophisticated final notes add a fresh and floral touch.

Ballantine's 12 Year old
Complexity of aromasBallantine's 12 Year Old is a premium blend revealing mellowness and complexity. It is produced by selecting and combining over 40 malt and grain whiskies aged 12 years and over.Launched in the 1950s, Ballantine's 12 Year Old is recognised as an international benchmark for premium scotch whiskies.
In the spotlight Colour: GoldenNose: Notes of honey, sherry sweetness and oaky aromas.Palate: Mellow and complex, floral, revealing notes of honey, vanilla and oak.Finish: Long, fresh and slightly salty.

A Scottish adventure
The brand's beginnings date back to 1827, when George Ballantine opened a grocery store in Edinburgh and sold whiskies selected for their high quality. He went on to specialise in the wines and spirits trade, then to creating and perfecting his own blended whiskies. George Ballantine was then appointed supplier to the British royal family.To cope with the growing demand, he asked his second son to go into business with him, and founded George Ballantine and Son Ltd. The company then began to export and expanded fast.

In 1895, the company was granted the Royal Warrant by Queen Victoria, rewarding the prestigious reputation acquired by Ballantine's in high society.
In 1919, the Ballantine family accepted a buy-out offer from Barclay and McKinlay. The new owners undertook to develop Ballantine's as a commercial brand, thereby promoting the excellent blends they had inherited.

In 1937 the company was rewarded by a Grant of Heraldic Arms, recognising George Ballantine & Son as an "incorporation noble on the Noblesse of Scotland". The heraldic arms that decorate the Grant still appear on bottles of Ballantine's today. The label reflects the key ingredients for making Scotch whisky and is the only whisky to do so.
Since then, Ballantine's has developed to become the leading seller of Scotch whiskies in Europe, and the 2nd global brand of scotch whiskies. Bought by Pernod Ricard in 2005, the brand has been distributed in France by Pernod since January 2006.

An association of character

Ballantine's blended scotch whiskies combine malt and grain whiskies from the most famous regions of Scotland, to create elegant, balanced scotch whiskies of unique complexity.The age shown on bottles of Ballantine's corresponds to the youngest whisky used in its composition.
Two signature malts give Ballantine's its identity and style: Glenburgie and Miltonduff.
Opened in 1810, the Glenburgie distillery is one of the oldest in the Speyside region. It produces a single malt that gives sweet notes of fruit to Ballantine's.- The Miltonduff distillery, also in Speyside,. has produced a floral malt with soft vanilla notes since 1824.Ageing in oak bourbon casks gives it vanilla notes, revealing the floral and lemony characters of the malts.
Each malt and grain whisky therefore offers its own character, whose blending is skilfully orchestrated by the cellar masters to produce the Ballantine's range of premium scotch whiskies.
This range is therefore the result of the work of a dynasty of cellar masters who, in the tradition of George Ballantine, use all their skills in the service of making high quality Scotch whiskies - complex, elegant and balanced.

How to taste

The taste then confirms the olfactory analysis. Take a small mouthful and swirl it around your mouth so that it comes into contact with all areas. Identify:The body: is the texture, the sensation in the mouth, oily, silky, round, velvety, hard?The palate: is the flavour of the whisky spicy, wooded, malty, fruity?The finish: is the taste of whisky remaining in your mouth rich, prolonged, light, dry?

When to drink
We recommend drinking Ballantine's whiskies as an aperitif or digestif, neat, with mineral water or on ice.
Ballantine's Finest makes a great aperitif, ideally as a whisky sour: shake together 4 cl Ballantine's Finest, 4 cl lemon juice and 2 cl cane sugar syrup in a shaker with a few ice cubes and serve in an "old fashioned" type glass, decorated with a twist of orange peel.

Excerpt and pictures from the website.

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