Announcing the latest addition to our collection of whiskies, perhaps the most unique The Balvenie Stories whisky following The Second Red Rose and The Week of Peat: The Balvenie 42 Year Old The Tale of the Dog Single Malt.
Unlike The Balvenie Stories whiskies that came before it, The Balvenie The Tale of the Dog is an expression inspired not by a whole story but a single phrase: “walking the dog”. Over 60 years ago, apprentice coppersmith Dennis McBain was alone in The Balvenie distillery workshop when the brewer approached him with a copper tube and asked him to hammer it down. “That was the day I learned what a dog was!” Dennis reflects.
The Balvenie The Tale of the Dog is a beautifully classic whisky in The Balvenie Stories range and a thoughtful tribute to Dennis McBain. On the nose, you will discover a soft, sweet fragrance from ripe dates, toffee, geranium oil, and subtle mink musk. The taste continues this theme, with a mouth-coating toffee and date flavour surrounding a nutty honey spice, underpinned with a toasted oakiness that lasts long into the finish.
The ‘dog’ is a small metal tube traditionally used to discreetly siphon whisky from the cask, and so “walking the dog” has a very different meaning in the world of whisky. As it happens, the brewer in Dennis’ story had discovered a dog in one of the warehouse workers’ coats, but rather than disciplining him, he quietly asked Dennis to render it unusable and then returned it to its original hiding place – giving him a second chance.
This humble tale tells us a lot about The Balvenie’s working culture over the years, one of patience and never being too quick to judge. The Balvenie Global Ambassador Gemma Paterson remarks: “It’s such a fascinating story. A wee lad, early on in his apprenticeship, having his eyes opened to a more daring side of distillery life and wondering if it was the angels or the dog that meant the whisky in the casks was ever so slightly decreasing”.
Distilling dogs have become a fixture in The Balvenie’s Warehouse 24, thanks to Dennis. Visitors to the distillery are even offered a chance to take the dog for a walk and siphon some The Balvenie Scotch for themselves. Until you can pay a visit to the distillery, discover The Balvenie’s Tale of the Dog, a luxuriously rich single malt Scotch whisky that encapsulates The Balvenie’s tales of character, endeavour and craftsmanship, an extraordinary collector’s whisky to be treasured for years to come. Enter our exclusive ballot for the chance to purchase a bottle.