What you need to know:
- Balvenie is expected to release a new 16 Year Old French Oak (specifically Pineau Cask) finished bottling.
- Pineau is a fortified wine aperitif from western France, the region of Cognac, and has a fairly sweet flavors with some acidity balanced with sweet stewed fruits much spiced apples and plum compote.
- The bottling was first matured for 16 years in American Oak casks, followed by the finishing in French Pineau casks.
- The whisky is expected to have notes of vanilla spice, warm honey, grapefruit, geranium and glazed fruit and ginger.
(Image Souce: Country Life)
The US Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (or TTB) has registered an all new French Oak, specifically Pineau Cask, finished 16 Year Old Balvenie.
The bottling was initially matured for 16 years in American Oak casks followed by a finishing in fortified Pineau wine casks.
Official Tasting Notes
Beautifully balanced light floral notes from lotus and geranium flowers dance between hints of fresh meadow grass and peeled apple skin
A energizing zing from tangy lemon rind and grapefruit meet the delicate subtle sweetness of glazed fruits and spice from root ginger
Basically a dessert wine, Pineau has a golden amber hue and is syrupy in texture, somewhat similar to the other main produce from the Cognac region. (Image Source: FoodandDrink)
For some clarity, Pineau, or more specifically Pineau des Charentes if you’re being fancy, is an aperitif of western France, made from fresh or unfermented grape juice or a blend of lightly fermented grape must. The key being that Cognac must be added to it and then matured as part of the fortifying process.
Pineau is somewhat sweet with acidity balanced with sweet fruits such as peaches and nectarines and some gentle baking spices as well as fruit stew, much like spiced apple or plum compote.
A 1928 poster promoting Cognac as a region of provenance for fine French produce. (Image Source: The Vintage Map Shop)
It primarily originates from the Cognac region of France and so is very much an extension to the famous namesake produce of which the region is similarly named. Basically add Cognac to everything and see what sticks.
Vanilla spice, warm honey, grapefruit, geranium and glazed fruit and ginger.
According to the label, the First Cask ie. the American Oak cask is expected to give vanilla spice and warm honey notes, while the Second Cask, the Pineau cask, is expected to bring energizing grapefruit, geranium, glazed fruit and ginger.
Whatever that second cask’s grapefruit has, I definitely need it to get through the multitude of Zoom calls.
Jokes aside, it’s going to be bottled at 47.6% ABV and we should expect to see more details closer to launch, so keep watching this space for updates!
We’re definitely keen on this one!