Unique Whisky: The Balvenie unveiled the latest addition to its Single Barrel range with the launch of this 25-year-old single malt. Matured exclusively in traditional American oak casks; those that have already been used to mature Scotch whisky. Created by Malt Master David Stewart, he only selects casks for bottling that have the character he expects of Balvenie matured for 25 years exclusively in American oak, subtle spices and rich honeyed sweetness. However, no two casks will ever produce an identical single malt. As such, the single malt from each cask of Single Barrel Traditional Oak Aged 25 Years is unique and no more than 300 bottles will be filled from any one cask. This is reflected on the bottle label – hand numbered and carrying the distillation date, bottling date and cask number in which the whisky was matured.
On the nose: you’ll be welcomed with sweet notes of green apples, toffee and oranges. Notes of honey will start to emerge followed by a waft of vanilla. Some spicy notes of cinnamon and cloves will start to appear, giving the dram a Christmas pudding note making it just right for this time of the year. On the palate: it is sweet but this will come from the honey and orange nosed, followed by a velvety creamy texture. Those notes of vanilla will start to emerge followed by those spicy notes of cinnamon. There is a beautiful meaty note kicking around in there too, with a hint of zest and fennel seed. The finish: is long, sweet, with lingering oak.
The verdict: The Balvenie Single Barrel Traditional Oak 25 Year Old is literally Christmas in a dram! So well-balanced and consistent from nose to finish. In my opinion this is the best expression from the Balvenie single barrel range. The Balvenie Single Barrel Traditional Oak Aged 25 Years is a non chill-filtered release with an ABV of 47.8%. A drop that didn’t need any water – though if you do need to then only add a very small amount. If you don’t feel the urge to add any water then allow the scotch to breathe for no more than 5 minutes just to open up the nose and palate a bit more.
Info: ABV 47.8% in a 70cl bottle
Unique Timepiece: Not often does someone come along and revolutionise the watchmaking industry. However, to say Ludovic Ballourd’s Upside Down timepiece is one of them, is a bit of an understatement.
Ludovic Ballouard’s Upside Down timepiece heralds a completely new way to indicate the time by astonishingly rotating individual hour numbers on cue. While the idea of indicating the time by having the correct hour right side up, while the other 11 display numbers upside down, is a relatively simple in thought. However, the fact it has never been done until now, reminds us that it is indeed no easy feat.
When the minute hand precisely reaches the 12 o’clock position, the past hour number instantaneously turns 180 degrees upside down. Simultaneously the new hour turns right side up. The rotation of these two tiny hour disks is faster than the eye can follow, and by using Maltese crosses to control the rotation mechanisms, time-keeping precision is not affected.
This ingenious movement is housed in a 41 mm 950 platinum case. However, Rather than the straightforward vertical sides or slightly outward curves commonly found in timepieces, the case sides of the “Upside Down” curve slightly inwards. Also, the platinum crown – another unusual feature of the “Upside Down” as the majority of platinum watches have white gold crowns for ease of manufacture – is unconventionally placed but is protected by sleek guards on either side. The Upside Down is seemingly fixed to the wrist by a hand-stitched alligator strap with matching metal pin buckle.
Photo Credit: Christopher Beccan. Thanks to William & Son and The Whisky Shop for providing the watch and the whisky. For more information, please visit the official Ludovic Ballouard website. Follow Haute Time on Instagram to catch all of the new releases as they happen.