Leave it to a hard-drinking, world-traveling, taste-making Anthony Bourdain to have good taste in whisky and hand-made craftsmanship in general. The Balvenie single malt Scotch whisky has announced that the author, chef and TV host has signed on to collaborate with the distiller for an initiative to bring attention to some of America’s finest craftspeople in three ways: to make a short-film series called “Raw Craft” featuring makers from around the country; to select the next two fellows for the American Craft Council Rare Craft Fellowship Awards; and to personally curate The Balvenie 2015 Rare Craft Collection traveling exhibition featuring original works from some of America’s finest craftspeople.
“For me, there is deep satisfaction in seeing people, with a particular skill set and a real passion, produce a beautiful thing which is why I’m excited to be a part of these programs in partnership with The Balvenie,” said Bourdain. “There is no doubt for me, that if you can have it, you want the stuff where people have taken their time, paid attention to and personally care about how it was created. It is very important to me that these kinds of crafts continue into the future and we value artisans who make the decision to choose quality over quantity.”
The Balvenie’s alliance with craft is a result of the brand’s dedication to continuing the tradition of using the five rare crafts of whisky making to create The Balvenie’s distinctive taste and exceptional quality. It is the only distillery that still grows its own barley, malts in its own traditional malting floor, employs coopers to tend every cask, a coppersmith to maintain the stills and a malt master to ensure the resulting spirit is consistently excellent.
“Our commitment to celebrating these incredible craftspeople is a journey we’ve been on for many years and it all stems from the fact that our approach to crafting our whisky has changed very little in over a century,” said Andrew Weir, The Balvenie’s Senior Brand Manager. “Anthony’s personal passion for craft and craftspeople will certainly raise a new level of awareness for the craft movement.”
Photo courtesy of Balvenie.