In his ongoing effort to curate the world’s best whiskies for discerning San Diego palates, Seven Grand Whisky Bar general manager Brett Winfield spoke with Lorne Cousin, The Balvenie Ambassador.
A single malt Scotch whisky with a 122-year history, The Balvenie still operates in the same Scottish distillery where it was born. To this day, it adheres to the five rare crafts of whisky-making it began practicing in 1892:
1. Growing its own barley.
2. Malting the barley on site on a traditional malting floor.
3. Employing its own coppersmith.
4. Maintaining its own cooperage (barrel-making facility).
5. Having a Malt Master, David Stewart, who has been at the helm for 50 years.
BRETT WINFIELD: One of the most rewarding aspects of working the bar at Seven Grand is seeing the look on a guest’s face when you serve them the first whisky that truly turns them into whisky drinkers. Which bottlings of The Balvenie do you recommend for people who are looking to get into whisky for the first time?
LORNE COUSIN: The Balvenie Doublewood 12-year-old. It’s matured in traditional whisky casks for 12 years, and then finished in Oloroso sherry casks. It’s a beautifully mellow whisky with flavors of honey, cinnamon and sherry, with a long and warming finish.
WINFIELD: Can you tell me a little about the Tun 1401 Series? We have the current Batch #9 release at Seven Grand, and it is a truly remarkable whisky.
COUSIN: This award-winning whisky was inspired by and produced in one of the oldest warehouses at our distillery. It comprises whisky from eleven different traditional whisky casks and three sherry casks, with aged whisky spanning three decades. The result is a complex whisky with flavors of dark fruits and marmalade and a long, spicy finish. It is also very rare, so I’d recommend your guests come and have a dram soon.
WINFIELD: Our motto at Seven Grand is “Whisky for the People.” We tell our guests that the correct and proper way to enjoy any whisky is exactly how they like it. How do you most enjoy a Balvenie?
COUSIN: I agree completely; enjoy it responsibly however you like. I personally enjoy a dram of The Balvenie with a splash of clear spring water. Slainte Mhath!