Spend a Scotch-Filled Luxury Vacation in New York With The Balvenie
In the past year or so, we’ve seen whisky bottles breaking record after record, setting a high bar for how much premium booze can be worth. (If you’re wondering, it peaked at $1.101 million.) But high-end bottles are just one of the indulgent ways whisky fans can immerse themselves in their favorite tipple. For some lucky folks visiting New York City this summer, there’s an entire penthouse vacation package celebrating Scotch — and it comes with a luxury price tag to match.
The from Wednesday, June 19 through Thursday, June 21, Dufftown, Scotland-based distillery The Balvenie is setting up shop in a three-story penthouse located in midtown Manhattan and renting the place out. Operated by the travel experts at Celebrated Experiences, the "once-in-a-lifetime" package includes a two-night stay in the Stories Suite, which popping up in conjunction with the release on The Balvenie’s new Stories range (more on that in a moment).
The suite will feature decor imbued with whisky-making ingredients like peat and barley, and artwork from the new line as well. A statement from the brand also says that the usual amenities have a "Balvenie twist" to them. On top of the accommodations, the package includes a multi-course dinner ensuite featuring a guided tasting with apprentice malt master Kelsey McKechnie, as well as a chauffeured tour of some of the city’s Scotch-celebrating speakeasies and what is described as a rare bottle of The Balvenie signed by malt master David C. Stewart, who’s held the title since 1974.
As for the Stories range, the new line consists of three bottles from The Balvenie's distillery manager and two of its masters of malt. "Stories are the lifeblood of The Balvenie distillery. They make up the fabric of who we are and what we do," Stewart said in the statement. "The Balvenie Stories collection tells these tales in liquid form, giving whisky drinkers across the globe a special glimpse into the unique and very human nature of how we produce our whisky. Each expression in the collection reflects this by telling its own story via first-hand accounts and recollections of the many people involved."
Here's what to expect from the three Stories expressions, according to The Balvenie:
The Sweet Toast of American Oak – Aged 12 Years – 43 percent ABV ($59.99): This is the story of the spectacular things that can happen when ancient technique meets fresh ideas, as newly appointed Apprentice Malt Master Kelsey McKechnie experimented with twice- charred white American oak from Kelvin Cooperage in Louisville, Kentucky to produce an even fruitier, sweeter tasting Balvenie.
The Week of Peat – Aged 14 Years – 48.3 percent ABV ($99): An evolution of The Balvenie Peat Week Aged 14 Years, which launched globally in 2017. This expression tells the tale of Malt Master David C. Stewart MBE and former distillery manager Ian Millar using a week’s gap in the distillery’s production schedule to experiment with the use of peat in the barley drying process, having sampled various ages since 2002. The result is a classic Balvenie expression with honey, vanilla and citrus notes with an extra layer of delicate smokiness.
A Day of Dark Barley – Aged 26 Years – 47.8 percent ABV ($799): The story of Malt Master David C. Stewart MBE and The Balvenie’s malt men experimenting with a heavily roasted dark barley in 1992. The resulting liquid was originally released in 2006 as the 14-Year-Old Balvenie Roasted Malt, however casks were retained for extra maturation, eventually becoming a classic aged Balvenie, but with extra depth and oak notes gleaned from the darker malt.
Each bottle also comes with an unlockable (via smart devices like Alexa or Google Home) audio component recorded on-location in Scotland and Kentucky which includes a guided tasting from the bottle's creator.
The Stories collection is available at select whisky retailers starting this month. Booking for the Stories Suite is open now through June 7, 2019, and, as mentioned above, costs $60,000 for a two-night stay (with one-night options available upon request). Find out more information from Celebrated Experiences by visiting www.thestoriessuite.com.