Ballantine’s Hard Fired breaks boundaries of Scotch whisky by using a bespoke process. It starts with the individual selection of American oak barrels by a wood management team. The barrels are then sent to highly skilled craftsmen at the cooperage to char them for a second time – a process known as ‘hard firing’ – and judge the char length and intensity by sight. Ballantine’s Master Blender Sandy Hyslop then noses each barrel and selects those best to be filled with a unique Ballantine’s blend for resting.
The signature hard firing of the barrels unlocks vanilla notes and hints of smoke and spice and provides a distinctive smoothness. The taste profile of Ballantine’s Hard Fired whisky has been developed through the transformative power of fire, resulting in a characterful and uniquely balanced whisky.
The heritage of Ballantine's Scotch whisky can be traced back to the year 1827, when George Ballantine began supplying a selected range of Scotch whiskies to a distinguished clientele from a grocery store in Edinburgh.
By 1869 George had expanded his business into Glasgow with his two sons. Trading now as 'George Ballantine & Son', his business started to export blended whisky to a worldwide market and fast became synonymous with high quality, smooth blended whiskies.
In 1895 Queen Victoria awarded George Ballantine & Son a Royal Warrant - the ultimate endorsement of the company's prestigious reputation.
In 1910 Ballantine's Finest was developed and became the company's primary export. The 1930’s brought the development of Ballantine's 30 Year Old and the brand enjoyed substantial export growth in the key international markets of the US, Europe and Asia.
In 1938 the company received its Grant of Heraldic Arms, recognising George Ballantine & Son as an ‘incorporation noble on the Noblesse of Scotland'. This crest appears on every bottle of Ballantine's Scotch whisky to this day, featuring the Scottish flag and the four essential elements of whisky making - barley, water, a pot still and an oak cask.
True to George Ballantine’s vision of creating whisky of the highest quality, Ballantine’s unique, elegant style is balanced and smooth, containing a complex blend of single malts and grain whiskies from the four renowned whisky regions of Scotland – Speyside, Highlands, Islay and the Lowlands.
Sweet ripe fruits (pears + blackcurrant), vanilla, butterscotch toffee and a gentle wisp of bonfire smoke.
Bright amber gold.
Long vanilla sweet and slightly tangy.
Sweet honey, soft red apples, a hint of tangy liquorice mixed with gentle/soft smoke.
Smooth yet strong.