The Edge of Burnhead Wood is the fourth release in Balvenie’s Stories range, and again we find the distillery in Speyside in an experimental mood. This is a 19 year old single malt which has been made entirely with ingredients grown on Balvenie’s Dufftown estate, including home-grown barley, water from the Robbie Dhu spring, and even fresh heather from the eponymous Burnhead Wood. The heather was dried, dampened and then put into the kiln during the malting – which Balvenie’s global brand ambassador Gemma Paterson investigates further in the podcast that accompanies this release. The result is a fascinating single malt, packed with honey, dried blossoms and fragrant oak.
Nose: Dried fruit with a dusting of nutmeg, honey on toast, an oily hint or two of roasted barley balanced by citrus blooms.
Palate: More dried fruit – this time Medjool dates and plump sultanas – followed by aromatic oak warmth, delicate heather honey and sugary shortbread.
Finish: More floral wafts of heather and vanilla blossom, plus a final whisper of candied ginger.