The Balvenie, the world's most handcrafted single malt Scotch whisky, and chef, author and raconteur Anthony Bourdain are proud to announce a multifaceted collaboration that will bring attention to some of America's finest craftspeople.
The partnership will be three-fold and will see Bourdain take a leading role in:
"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, Senior Brand Manager, The Balvenie. "Collaborating with Anthony Bourdain—who we were delighted to learn has long been an admirer of our product—is a very exciting next step on this journey. Anthony's personal passion for craft and craftspeople will certainly raise a new level of awareness for the craft movement."
Beginning February 2015 through May 2016, Bourdain and The Balvenie will work together on the following projects:
Bourdain will serve as the host for Raw Craft, which will give viewers an inspiring behind the scenes look inside the workshops of some of the most talented, creative and hardworking craftspeople in America. In The Balvenie spirit, Bourdain will uncover the true meaning of craftsmanship. Each film will showcase artisans guiding him through the process while providing unique insight into the dedication and sacrifice required to produce everyday items by hand. The trailer for the online series of short films can be found here – www.RawCraft.us – along with the first film in the series, which highlights Borough Furnace, a metal casting workshop in Syracuse, NY producing made to order cast iron skillets in a unique and sustainable manner.
American Craft Council Rare Craft Fellowship Awards in association with The Balvenie
Bourdain will serve as the lead juror for this highly coveted award in both 2015 and 2016. Presented annually for contributions to the maintenance and revival of traditional or rare crafts in America, the Fellows will receive an exclusive trip to Scotland and a $10,000 endowment to go towards materials to continue their crafts. The four additional finalists will receive a $5,000 endowment. This year the announcement will take place in New York City on March 10th, 2015.
The Balvenie 2015 Rare Craft Collection
In its third year, The Balvenie 2015 Rare Craft Collection will continue as a traveling exhibition featuring original works from some of America's finest craftspeople. As curator for the Collection, Bourdain will be an integral part of selecting a first-class group of artisans dedicated to making handcrafted goods. Live demonstrations, tutorials and Scotch whisky tastings with The Balvenie will all be featured during this multi-city tour beginning fall 2015.