In these days of computerisation, it’s easy to overlook the true art of craft that takes place in many industries.
I was fortunate enough to be invited to The Balvenie Masters of Craft 2013 Awards Ceremony at Somerset House last night. Now in its third year, the awards celebrate and recognise true masters of British craftmanship across five categories. The start of the evening gave the attendees a chance to take a look at examples from four of the categories, with the Food & Drink being sampled (and very much enjoyed) at the end of the evening – I do love cake!
Much discussion took place about the art of craft, with special mentions of David Stewart, Balvenie’s Master Blender, who has perfected his craft over 50 years in the industry. For the last 39 of those (longer than many people had been alive as he was reminded on a few occasions!) he has been in his current role.
The winners in each category received a bottle of Balvenie Whisky (naturally) and a £1,000 commission to create something inspired by the brand.
The ceremony was compered by the charismatic duo of Dr Andrew Forrester (Balvenie UK Ambassador) and Tom Dyckhoff (Archicture Historian and Television Presenter), with various anecdotes to keep with the informal nature of the evening (in keeping with how things usually happen in the whisky industry) juxtaposed within the formal setting.
As you would expect, the evening was complemented by five different Balvenie expressions, I’m afraid that as well as my camera phone dying (hence the lack of photos), it wasn’t the sort of event where copious notes could be made (though I did intend to).
DoubleWood 12 Year Old – served from a cask with a dipping dog
DoubleWood 17 Year Old
Single Barrel 12 Year Old
PortWood 21 Year Old
Tun 1401 Batch 8
The Winners (Congratulations to them all!)
Food and Drink: Beth Mottershead (Cake Maker)
Interiors and Objects: Helen Amy Murray (Chair Maker)
Sport and Leisure: David Anthony Reid (Luthier)
Style and Accessories: Jack Row (Goldsmith)
Technical and Engineering: Ben Naylor of Jack Badger (Carpentry and Masonry)