Note from Scotch Trooper: In the Whisky World, David Laird is a man that needs no introduction. But for those who have not had your morning cup of coffee, David is the Balvenie Brand Ambassador for the Western States and played a huge part in my whisky journey. You can follow him on both Instagram and Twitter. If you have the chance to attend a whisky class or tasting event with him, I highly recommend you do so.
Scotland fans, it is that time again, when a major football tournament rolls around and we are left looking on from the sidelines. It has been 18 years since I journeyed to Paris to watch my beloved Scotland play Brazil in the opening match. The result was probably inevitable before the game kicked off, but we still believed. Packed onto buses and trains, a flask full of whisky, and with enough songs to last the 48hr trip, 1000s of us travelled to Paris with true Scottish optimism. Things did not go well, but worse still, that has been the highlight of the last 2 decades.
Hopefully something will change soon, but for the moment we are resigned to arguing over the greatest players from the past, players that would have taken us to Euro 2016.
Dalglish, Souness, McGrain, Jardine, McLeish, McQueen, McCoist the list goes on. Truly world class players.
However, if one statement can never be argued; is that we will never all agree who would be in the best Scotland eleven. Trust me, many a whisky has been shared arguing my cause for my favourites, there is never a consensus. (I have my picks but that is a different story)
So since we can’t talk about Scotland’s chances this year at the Euros, and no hope of agreeing on a best eleven, I thought I would entertain myself by creating a Balvenie starting eleven. Eleven Balvenie whiskies, which contain the attributes to make up the perfect Scotland team. Agree or disagree, that is ok. I am sure you have your own picks. Hopefully come 2018 we will be discussing our chances at the World Cup, saving up for a trip to Russia and enjoying a Balvenie as we do.
BALVENIE STARTING ELEVEN
Goalkeeper: Experienced, fearless, brave
Whisky: The Balvenie Classic:
In 1983 David Stewarts developed the Balvenie Classic the first released finished whisky. A truly brave whisky indeed.
Right Back: Full of energy and balance, and will never let you down
Whisky: The Balvenie 12 yr Doublewood
Honey smoothness but with a little Spanish spiciness for when he gets a chance to get forward in attack.
Centre Backs: Bold, experienced leaders of the team
Whisky: The Balvenie 50yr cask 4567 and 4570
With the experience of aging side by side for 5 decades, they have the experience to handle anything that can be thrown at them, a dream for anyone to have the opportunity to select.
Left Back: A rare weapon to have a natural left-sided player. Young and full of energy
Whisky: The Balvenie 12 yr American Oak Single Barrel
The American oak barrel only produces 300 individual bottles at 47.8% ABV. A rare whisky, full of strength whisky that counters balances the 12 yr Doublewood perfectly.
Right Midfield: Shows great character, anchoring the right side and leading with maturity
Whisky: The Balvenie 30yr old
American and European casks give this whisky great depth, balance, spiciness and richness. This whisky will always be in a winning side.
Centre midfield: A true winner and leader, connecting all parts of the team.
Whisky: The Balvenie Double wood 17 yr
Released on our malt masters David Stewart’s 50 yr anniversary at Balvenie, the older sister of the 12yr Double wood is the perfect whisky to lead you forward with amazing balance and ease.
Attacking midfielder: Flair, creative, a true winner
Whisky: The Balvenie 21 yr Portwood
Finished in 35yr Old Portuguese Port pipes. This whisky has the European experience and style to change any game. The Balvenie’s most awarded whisky knows the meaning of winning.
Left midfield: Rare, strong and with plenty of depth of character to run the wing with style.
Whisky: The 15 yr Single Barrel Sherry Cask
Pairing up on the left with the 12 yr single barrel, these 47.8 ABV whiskies create a formidable pair of strength, rarity, and energy.
Forward: A target man, stylish and confident enough to demand respect from all around.
Whisky: The Balvenie 40 yr
The ultimate target for many Balvenie fans. Big, bold, great depth and with a silky finish that any striker would be proud
Forward: Skillful, energetic, flair and unpredictable
Whisky: The Balvenie 14yr Caribbean Cask
Finished in rum casks, this whisky delivers unexpected flavours that are unseen in scotch. An entertainer, that is quickly becoming a fan favourite.