Fizzie Republic

 

  • Photo by John Paul
  • Photo by John Paul
  • Photo by John Paul
  • Photo by John Paul
  • Photo by John Paul

Little has changed since William Grant & Sons, now one of Scotland’s few remaining family-owned distillers, built The Balvenie distillery in 1892. The Balvenie still performs every aspect of its whisky making on-site, from barley growing to bottling. It even has its own cooperage to ensure the quality of its barrels.

And yet, two remarkable things occurred at the distillery in 1962. First, in June, Hamish Robertson, the master blender at the time, selected a very special barrel—cask number 5576, a large hogshead made of European oak—and filled it with new-made distillate. Then, in September of that same year, Robertson hired a promising young apprentice named David Stewart. Ten years later Stewart became The Balvenie’s master blender, a position he still holds today, making him the longest-reigning master blender…

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