Scotch whisky house champions craftspeople from around the world with launch of The Balvenie Commission.
You can’t deny the word ‘craftsmanship’ has, in recent years, lost quite a bit of its credibility. With new ‘craft’ beers and whiskies hitting the market faster than anyone can cure a hangover, this idea of craftsmanship is now synonymous with little more than marketing. But The Balvenie has genuine authenticity because it has been making whisky by hand for more than a century using traditional techniques that have changed very little over the years...
This commitment to craftsmanship is reflected in the launch of The Balvenie Commission, a website and associated bursary fund that supports craftspeople around the world. The website features stories exploring the lives and works of craftspeople who share The Balvenie’s passion for handcrafted work.
The site is divided into three sections: Features, Commissions and Craft News.
Features is home to commissioned articles from writers and influencers from the field who bring fresh perspectives on craftsmanship from their corner of the world — the site launched with a thought piece on the ubiquity and authenticity of craft claims by Hole & Corner magazine’s editor Mark Hooper and a feature by Cool Hunting contributor David Graver, who hit the streets of New York to meet the makers keeping craft traditions alive. This will be updated monthly with guest articles from different countries, including Australia, Sweden and Singapore.
The Commissions section showcases profiles on craftspeople who have been commissioned by The Balvenie to create handcrafted objects. These include Sam Chinnery, who made the case for The Balvenie Fifty from 49 rings of wood of different varieties; James Rogan, a documentary maker who worked with the whisky company to create ‘The Intelligent Hand’, among other projects; and GJ Cleverley & Co, the leather-goods specialist that created a reindeer leather case to hold The Balvenie Forty.
Craft News, as its name suggests, is a section that consolidates the latest happenings and most interesting stories from the world of craftsmanship, drawn from well-known blogs or magazines.
On the purpose of The Balvenie Commission, its global brand ambassador Sam Simmons said: “The Balvenie has always been committed to craftsmanship; it is part of our heritage. Little has changed in the way we make our whisky. Traditional techniques come from the hands of people with decades of experience and skill. We have also worked with some incredible craftspeople from all over the world in recent years and we wanted to celebrate them, as well as bringing interesting, relevant content to those passionate about craft.”
A look at the many aspects of craftsmanship that go into the production of The Balvenie.