Following his success at the 2011 Ballantine’s Championship, English golfer Lee Westwood has been invited to create a special blend with Master Blender Sandy Hyslop to mark this year’s tournament in Korea.
The fifth Ballantine’s Championship Blend is made up of a selection incredibly rare whiskies, aged for at least 41 years. Westwood becomes only the third person outside Ballantine’s expert blending team to influence a Ballantine’s blend, following Northern Irish golfer Graeme McDowell and Australia’s Marcus Fraser, the previous winners of the Ballantine’s Championship in 2008 and 2010.
Of the ten individually numbered bottles which will be produced, one is reserved for Westwood as reigning champion and one for the winner of this year’s tournament. An additional bottle will be auctioned off for charity during play in April.
Hyslop said in a Chivas Brothers release: “It was an absolute pleasure for me to work with Lee. This is a superlative blend that has a real effortless and spicy character and, at 41 years of age, it is the first time we have produced a whisky as old and exclusive.”
Lee Westwood added: “It has been a real eye-opener. I didn’t realise the processes a blend has to go through to get to the final stage and I can appreciate the whisky much more now. The 2012 Ballantine’s Championship Blend is one of the rarest whiskies in the world so look out for it at the tournament in April.”