Cannes Lions

The Balvenie DCS Compendium


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Our creative focussed on bringing David Stewart’s legacy to life. We wanted to ensure the packaging allowed the whisky to take centre stage so we used the distinctive Balvenie bottle and minimised the label to a simple footnote. The resulting visual impression highlighted the colour of the whisky showcasing the depth and variation through the years. We wanted to think of the label as a sort of bookmark highlighting the best bits of a 53 year legacy. The messaging was simple and focussed on the brand and the year.


We designed the bottle packaging for the first five bottles and the project’s whole visual identity, including aspects of the launch event and the accompanying book.

Our packaging solution is a structure that is as unobtrusive as possible. As with everything The Balvenie crafts, the emphasis is absolutely on the whisky.

The solid walnut frame references the Tantalus, and allows the dramatic variation in whisky colour to be immediately apparent. The simplicity of this allowed us to create a recognisable relationship between the five bottle chapter frame and the individual bottle frame.

The five bottle chapter frames were handmade by Scottish cabinetmaker Sam Chinnery, whose workshop is close to the distillery. The title of the compendium is hand gilded by Sam’s mother. The base of each bottle is secured through a brass plate, and released by removing a discreet solid walnut ‘key’. A handmade leather case was designed for transportation.


The Balvenie compendium was the first of its kind – it represents an utterly unique approach to celebrating the legacy of both the skills of the Maltmaster and the liquid legacy of the brand. It also served to endorse the brands taste credentials by highlighting what makes it special in a deeply informative way designed to increase brand engagement with its highly influential connoisseur fan base.

The product was pre-ordered before its release date and fulfilled its objective to increase both desire for, and knowledge of, The Balvenie.

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