Balvenie was built by William Grant in 1892 and remains part of his family's company to this day. In the early part of its history, its purpose was primarily for the provision of malt for Grant's blends, however following the global success of Glenfiddich, the Balvenie single malt brand was launched in 1973. It remained a rarity though, and it was not until the opening of Kininvie in 1990, and later Ailsa Bay in Girvan, that the distillery was given the freedom to focus on its single malt. Today it is one of the best recognised brands in the world. In 1993 they launched the 12 year old "DoubleWood," an expression credited with pioneering the use of cask-finishing, and this has become a key motif for the distillery's output in recent times.
The Balvenie Founder's Reserve pre-dates the "DoubleWood" and the focus on cask finishing that followed. It is a marriage of single malt matured in both ex-bourbon and sherry casks, created by malt master, David Stewart. It was launched in the early 1980s, originally packaged in the now iconic cognac style bottles. This is a later release in the more familiar Balvenie livery. Hugely popular in its time, this former cornerstone of the Balvenie core range was discontinued in 2009.