2002 Balvenie 14 Year "Peat Week" Vintage Single Malt Whisky (750ml)

SKU #1318676

This limited edition Balvenie is the result of one single vintages production distilled entirely in the year 2002. David Stewart and Ian Millar began experimenting with peated whisky years ago and in order to avoid tainting the standard Balvenie spirit they allocated an entire week exclusively to peated whisky production. Each year the distillery produced a tiny amount of these peated whiskies, so each bottling is by it naturally very limited. This particular bottling, the first available stateside, is not chill filtered and aged exclusively in American Oak casks.

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Price: $99.99

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Staff Image By: David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/13/2017 | Send Email
I couldn't love this special limited edition Balvenie ANY more than I do. It strikes a chord with me on so many levels. Balvenie is a stupendously high quality operation, but there are a few things about their standard bottlings that trouble the nit picky nerd in me. They're bottled at lower proof with chill filteration, this whisky is not. They utilize both industrial and floor malted barley, this whisky does not. They represent a relatively modern style of Highland Whisky, where the complete lack of peat has meant ultimately less complexity even if you create a whisky that might appeal to more people. Before the industrialization of the maltings pretty much everyone was drying barely in house using some mixture of fuels to do it. But the Highland peat gives you very different flavors than those Islay bogs and the result should not be considered off limits for non-peat lovers. The Highland peat adds some smokiness, but also a bouquet of intense floral, herbal and fruity aromas. Right out of the bottle you'll notice the distinction and with a bit of air that first wave of intensity settles into one of the most pleasurable and complex $100 you could spend in Scotch today.

Staff Image By: Jeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/7/2017 | Send Email
This is a very good single malt. In the nose there is a medium amount of peat with some nice malt aromas. In the mouth it is soft and pure with interesting malt flavors that are balanced out with some smoke. The smoke flavors do not dominate but are integrated with the malt. The Balvenie Peat Week is easy to drink and enjoy and should please single malt fans.

Staff Image By: Andrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/7/2017 | Send Email
I had a few interactions yesterday in which I was attempting to describe and explain to customers about the new bottling from Balvenie and I admit I was struggling. One interaction in particular was a challenge because the customer wanted me to compare it to other whiskies. I had to try and explain that this one was simply different, delicious but different. In some ways this is clearly a Balvenie, I get the rich vanilla, grassy hay, and nutty notes on the nose, but with a savory herb and sweet peat component. The whisky is full bodied and has wonderful richness to it, but then there is this scrub brush campfire note that twines throughout it that does not taste like almost anyone else's peated Scotch. It is neither salty, nor briny, and the smoke is gentle, but definitely present. It is a seriously intriguing bottle and although I am not sure where to categorize it, I will happily continue to drink it and think over that question.

Staff Image By: Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/5/2017 | Send Email
Gorgeous. Matured exclusively in American Oak and it shows. The vanilla and caramel on the nose is crystal clear. I often find myself thinking about precision in wine, but not whisky. The nose here is exact. There is a beautiful fresh peaty quality and homemade cookies straight from the oven. It's an aroma to get lost in. The palate is full and rich in a way I don't expect given the pale straw color and nose, luscious even. Finish is gently sweet and smoky. Make me a BBQ sauce that tastes like this and I'll make you rich. A special bottling from Balvenie's heavy peating week at the distillery.

Staff Image By: Chantel Carroll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/2/2017 | Send Email
This Scotch was everything I wanted it to be, and then some. What an amazing and rare treat. Integrated smoke, subtle vanilla, and sweet malt on the nose. The palate was rich with caramel, salinity, and toasty grains. It then finished with fresh stone fruit and honey. The characteristics were so gracious, yet blended together so well. This Scotch is a reminder of why I love this Spirit, so much!

Staff Image By: Alex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/1/2017 | Send Email
One of the best whiskies I have tasted in some time, this is a rare peated offering from Balvenie, where they set aside one week each year to heavily peat their barley for such bottlings. On the nose there is mentholated smoky sweetness, barley and oak. On the palate, the peat smoke is so well-integrated it is almost absorbed completely into the flavor profile, which has a sweet, savory malt base. It is so good, round and complete that I anticipate the bottle emptying very quickly, despite its hefty 49% abv level.

Staff Image By: David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/1/2017 | Send Email
What attracted me immediately to the 2002 Balvenie was the subtle and haunting nose. Aged entirely in American oak barrels, there's no sherry to be had here. Instead you get a noseful of lush golden grains, honey with sweet barley, peaches in syrup, and vanilla extract. Faintly, underneath all those lovely aromas, is just the tiniest hint of peat. The second thing that I loved about the whisky is that it's all finish. The mid-palate flavors are where the peat picks up (30 ppm) and remember we're dealing with Highland peat here, not Islay peat. There's a compositional difference between the two and the resulting flavors are profoundly different (if you remember the old Glenmorangie Finealta). There's no brine or medicinal character here, just soft brush and faint campfire smoke in low levels, hanging onto the underbelly of the malty core. Everything about the drinking experience is understated until you get to the end, and then: whoooooosh! A wave of rich vanilla and sweet smoke comes racing through your nostrils and over the roof of your mouth, lingering for a solid five minutes after lapping up onto the shore of your lips. With the 2002 Peat Week, Balvenie has proven to me yet again that it can excite experienced drinkers while still maintaining a big tent approach. Nothing about this whisky is difficult to understand, but there's so much to unlock for those who enjoy the analysis. We're witnessing the ascension of a great distillery in peak form. Balvenie is on its way to first growth status in the single malt hierarchy.

Staff Image By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/1/2017 | Send Email
Wow this is pretty cool. I figured I knew the Balvenie whiskies inside and out but to be honest this is my first experience of the "Peat Week" bottling. From the wealth of information on the tin this particular batch was distilled the same week I met my (to be) wife...and we're now just about to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary! I love how this bottling combines the soft, round approachability of Balvenie with a beautiful smoky note that is subtle and not overpowering. Maybe the elegant integration of the smoke is due to the different source of peat (Highland vs. Islay) or perhaps it's just the skill and know-how of the folks at Balvenie. Either way this is a crowd pleasing malt that is sure to make lots of people happy...whether you're looking to geek out on the incredible transparency provided by the distillery about these single batches or just looking for something to sip in the evening as summer turns to fall.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Malt

Country:

Scotland

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Alcohol Content (%): 48.3