I’m sitting here at the Balvenie Roadshow event at Epic Roasthouse in San Francisco with DG Blackburn and other bloggers (@whiskywall, @the_casks, others) and press. And it’s cold. San Francisco. Bayside. Windy. May 2nd. OMG, fffffreakin’ COLD.
For some unknown reason, the Balvenie folks (who are on an excellent adventure, crisscrossing America showcasing handmade, artisanal products), really messed up here. I’m sad to say it, but they put the bloggers and press outside, in the cold, with no food, while there was another event that was inside, with food. Presumably it was warmer inside. It wasn’t all bad…we did have ice water. 🙂
Besides the weather being outside of the Balvenie’s control was the fact that the restaurant started a very smoky wood fire in the outdoor fireplace. This really interfered with my ability (albeit already limited) to taste the whisky. Finally, it’s possible that I mis-read the invitation, but I had expected the 40yo Balvenie to be on offer. Maybe the non-press folks in the warmth got that. Truth to tell, with the smoke it would probably have been wasted on me.
Despite my environmental concerns, this was a really cool idea for marketing their brand. It really is hand-crafted, and they are realtively unique in the Scotch whisky business in that they do control every aspect of the Scotch-making process, from growing the barley to making the casks, to making and maintaining the stills I am sure that their marketing of the various artisans was appreciated. You should check them out. And I do really like their products. Their new limited release Peated Cask is excellent. As Nicholas, our host, said, this is a dram that simultaneously makes your mouth wet and dry. It’s true! This is a unique Speyside whisky with a distinct peat smoke finish, that is not OTT on the peat. It’s about perfectly balanced in my opinion.