The Balvenie Malt Master, David Stewart, was recently recognized in the 2016 New Year’s Honours list as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE), for services to the Scotch whisky industry. On the 5th of July 2016, Queen Elizabeth II handed over the accolade to David Steward in a ceremony at The Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, Scotland.

After nearly 54 years in the industry, David’s pioneering techniques have had a profound impact on the production of Scotch whisky used today. He is renowned for his groundbreaking workparticularly around ‘cask finishes’ for The Balvenie and has developed a number of award winning whiskies enjoyed and loved by whisky enthusiasts all over the world. He is one of only 12 malt masters in the Scotch whisky industry, a small band of master craftsmen who have perfected the art, alchemy and scientific understanding in making whisky and he is the longest-serving of them all.

Lauren Kuhlmey, Marketing Manager of The Balvenie South Africa stated, “David’s innovative approach and total dedication to his craft, coupled with his modest, unassuming manner have made him one of the best loved and respected craftsmen in the business. This is testament to the fact that David is one of the greatest master blenders of a generation, not that he would ever admit it himself.”

David will also be honoured with a beautiful book of congratulations, carefully designed in the style of an original whisky store register. Over the coming months, pages from the book will travel across the globe, gathering well wishes and messages of congratulations from whisky enthusiasts and The Balvenie drinkers, before returning to Scotland to be bound and presented to David.

Whisky enthusiasts around the world raised a toast at 19:45 on 5 July 2016 (the year David was born) paying tribute to his achievement. A nod to modern times was the use of the hashtag #RaiseADram.

David Stewart started work at The Balvenie distillery in 1962 at the age of just 17. During a 12-year apprenticeship, he mastered the skills of nosing and creating the best quality single malt Scotch whisky. David was then appointed The Balvenie Malt Master and has held that position ever since, making him the most experienced malt master in the industry.

About The Balvenie:

  • The Balvenie is a unique range of single malts created by David Stewart, The Balvenie Malt Master, who celebrates his 53rd year at the distillery in 2015. Each has a very individual taste, but each is rich, luxuriously smooth and underpinned by the distinctively honeyed character of The Balvenie.
  • The Balvenie is dedicated to the five rare crafts that are used to create The Balvenie’s distinctive taste. It is the only distillery that still grows its own barley, uses traditional floor maltings and keeps both coppersmiths and coopers on site – making The Balvenie the most handcrafted of malts.
  • The Balvenie Single Malt Scotch Whisky is produced by William Grant & Sons Ltd, an award-winning independent family-owned distiller founded by William Grant in 1886 and today run by his direct descendants.