Craftsmanship takes skill, ultimate craftsmanship requires heart. A family-owned business with 130-years of experience perfecting the craft of whisky-making, The Balvenie Single Malt Scotch Whisky is rooted in a spirit of innovation and deep curiosity to expose the intangible elements that make something exceptional. As part of their continued partnership and shared mission to uncover the beautiful convergence of craft and creativity, The Balvenie and 6-Time GRAMMY Award Winning musician, Academy Award-winning filmmaker, producer, DJ, director, culinary entrepreneur and New York Times best-selling author Questlove have returned with a second season of their award-winning digital series, Quest for Craft.
Quest for Craft explores the obsessive, never-ending journey to craft the extraordinary through conversations with compelling cultural creators that pour their hearts into their own craft. Now in its second season, the series continues to peel back the curtain through new perspectives, unveiling the uniquely human attributes and deep intrinsic values that elevate something from great to exceptional. With insight from some of the world’s most creative minds, the series uncovers the nuances integral to the creative process through their own pursuit of craft across music, dance, writing, comedy and the whisky-making process.
“The Balvenie is anchored in heart, and that’s exactly what drives this project, our guests and myself, personally. There’s no substitute for that kind of passion needed to drive the continual pursuit of the extraordinary,” said Questlove. “Coming back for season two of Quest for Craft, we dig in deeper and hone in on the elements that have inherent value and major impact on the creative process. From conversations with four of the greatest minds of our generation, who I’ve known and admired for years, I’ve been able to gain a completely new perspective on who they are as creators and apply their learnings to refine my own creative approach.”
In its second season, again filmed in the iconic Electric Lady Studios in New York City, Quest for Craft takes the viewer on an even deeper dive into the world of craftsmanship by analyzing creativity through the lens of chemistry, place, perfection and expression with guests:
- Chapter 5, Craft and Expression with Music Producer and Star-Studded Collaborator Mark Ronson – Questlove and Mark Ronson delve into the unique magic of cohesion with creative collaborators, and advice for creators to leave their own distinctive mark.
- Chapter 6, Craft and Perfection with History-Making Professional Ballet Dancer Misty Copeland – Questlove and American Ballet Theatre Principal Dancer Misty Copeland consider whether practice really does make perfect, her unconventional path to professional dance and how self-expression and defying expectations can allow you to attain your own ideal.
- Chapter 7, Craft and Place with Author and New York City Guru Fran Lebowitz – Questlove and Fran Lebowitz explore the impact your environment can have on your craft, and the two go on a journey through New York… without even leaving Electric Lady Studios.
- Chapter 8, Craft and Chemistry with Comedian and Master of Ensemble Kenan Thompson – Questlove and Kenan Thompson discuss his 20 years on SNL, “30 Rock University” and the remarkable experience of working as part of an ensemble.
“Craft and creativity are inextricably linked, and are at the core of our distillery’s past, present and future. As a family-owned company dating back to 1892, The Balvenie leads with a legacy of long-term innovation and a steadfast commitment to excellence made possible by our Five Rare Crafts, comprised of unmatched ingredients, processes and people,” said Greg Levine, Vice President, Marketing, Single Malt Scotch Whiskies USA. “In its second year, Quest for Craft builds on the tenants of craftsmanship explored in season one, and unveils even more truths behind modern creativity and inspiration. With deep knowledge of music, entertainment, culinary and literary fields, and having literally written the book on the subject of creativity with Creative Quest, we’re reminded how perfectly positioned Questlove is to help us unpack the uniquely human elements that elevate the great to the exceptional.”
In 2021, The Balvenie embarked on a new creative journey with the arrival of Quest for Craft: Season One, a disquisitive digital series hosted by Questlove. Over the four episodes featured in its inaugural season, The Balvenie and Questlove embark on thought provoking conversations around the creative processes, inspirations and aspirations of legendary GRAMMY Award-winning music producer Jimmy Jam, SNL comedian Michael Che, punk-rock icon Patti Smith, and prolific author Malcolm Gladwell. The series won the 2021 Shorty Award in the Industry: Wine, Beer & Spirits category and 2021 Brand Film Award in the Consumer Goods category.
Quest for Craft is the hallmark collaboration of a multi-year partnership between The Balvenie and Questlove and an extension of The Balvenie’s global campaign The Makers Project, in which the brand brings to life not just the skill but the heart of makers around the world via content series, exhibits, auctions and experiential events. The partnership began in late 2020 and intends to unpack the uniquely human elements that impact modern creativity.
For more information on the partnership between The Balvenie and Questlove, and to watch the full Quest for Craft series, subscribe to The Balvenie YouTube channel or visit us.thebalvenie.com/the-makers and @balvenieus.
Handcrafted to be enjoyed responsibly. The Balvenie Single Malt Scotch Whisky © 2022 Imported by William Grant & Sons, Inc. New York, NY.
About The Balvenie Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Nestled in the picturesque surroundings of Dufftown, Speyside, The Balvenie distillery has been handcrafting whisky for more than 125 years, notably the most handcrafted of single malts. Nowhere else can you find a distillery that grows its own barley, malts in its own traditional floor maltings, and still employs a team of coopers to tend to the casks alongside a coppersmith to maintain the stills.
With a team committed to ultimate craftsmanship, their dedicated characters pour their soul and obsession into every single bottle. This demonstrates that, whilst it takes skill to make something great, it takes true heart to make it extraordinary. And of course, Malt Master, David C. Stewart MBE presides over the all-important maturation process.
Founded in 1892 by William Grant, The Balvenie Single Malt Scotch Whisky is produced by William Grant & Sons Ltd, an award-winning independent family-owned distiller and today run by his direct descendants. Each expression has a very individual taste, rich, luxuriously smooth and underpinned by the distinctively honeyed character of The Balvenie. For further information, visit www.thebalvenie.com.
About William Grant & Sons
William Grant & Sons Holdings Ltd. is an independent family-owned distiller headquartered in the United Kingdom and founded by William Grant in 1887. Today, the global premium spirits company is run by the fifth generation of his family and distills some of the world’s leading brands of Scotch whisky, including Glenfiddich®, The Balvenie® range of handcrafted single malts and the world’s third-largest blended Scotch, Grant’s®, as well as other iconic spirits brands such as Hendrick’s® Gin, Sailor Jerry® Spiced Rum, Tullamore D.E.W.® Irish Whiskey, Monkey Shoulder® Blended Malt Scotch Whisky, and Drambuie® Scotch Liqueur.
Founded in 1964, William Grant & Sons USA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of William Grant & Sons, Ltd. and features one of the fastest-growing spirits portfolios in the US with brands including Glenfiddich, The Balvenie, Hendrick’s Gin, Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey, Drambuie, Milagro Tequila, Fistful of Bourbon, Grant’s, Hudson Whiskey, Gibson’s Finest, Monkey Shoulder, Clan MacGregor, Reyka Vodka, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur, Flor de Caña Rum, The Knot, and Raynal French Brandy. For more information on the company and its brands, please visit www.williamgrantusa.com.
Academy Award-winning filmmaker, drummer, DJ, producer, director, culinary entrepreneur, New York Times best-selling author, and member of The Roots – Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, is the unmistakable heartbeat of Philadelphia’s most influential hip-hop group. He is the Musical Director for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where his beloved Roots crew serves as house band. Beyond that, this 6-time GRAMMY Award winning musician’s indisputable reputation has landed him musical directing positions with everyone from D’Angelo to Jay-Z.
In 2021, Questlove made his directorial debut with the Academy Award winning feature documentary Summer of Soul, which explores the legendary 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival. The film premiered on the opening night of the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, where it was awarded the “Grand Jury Prize” and “Audience Award for Best U.S. Documentary.” Questlove was also recently honored with the Sundance Institute’s 2021 Vanguard Award for his work on the film. The movie broke the record for the highest selling documentary to come out of Sundance when it was acquired by Searchlight/Hulu and it has since gone on to win “Best Feature Documentary” at the 2022 Academy Awards, “Best Documentary” at the 2022 British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) and “Best Music Film” at the 2022 Grammy Awards, as well as a Peabody Award. The film was additionally named “Best Documentary” by The National Board of Review, “Documentary of the Year” by the London Critic’s Circle Awards, “Best Music Documentary” by the International Documentary Association and notably received six Critic’s Choice Documentary Awards in the categories of “Best Documentary Feature,” “Best Director,” “Best First Documentary Feature,” “Best Editing,” “Best Archival Documentary” and “Best Music Documentary.” Questlove also was named “Best Director” by the International Documentary Association and received a nomination for “Best Director” by the Directors Guild of America for his work on the film. In addition, Summer of Soul was named the “Best Movie of 2021” by The New York Times and was named one of the best of the year by The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, Entertainment Weekly, The Washington Post, TIME Magazine, The Hollywood Reporter, Rolling Stone, Forbes, The Guardian, The Wrap and People Magazine. President Barack Obama also named Summer of Soul one of his “Favorite Movies of 2021.” The Summer Of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised) Original Motion Picture Soundtrack was released via Legacy Recordings on January 28, 2022.
Outside of Summer of Soul, Questlove partnered together with Black Thought of The Roots to Executive Produced the acclaimed documentary series, Hip-Hop: The Songs That Shook America on AMC under their production company, Two One Five Entertainment. Together, in 2020, the pair announced a first-look deal with Universal Television to develop scripted and non-scripted programming. In 2022, Two One Five Entertainment is set to executive produce Sam Pollard’s The League, a documentary centered on the tumultuous journey of Negro league baseball and also produce an upcoming documentary on the legendary Sly Stone, as well as various projects with partners such as Disney Jr. This year the company will executive produce Descendant, a feature documentary on the historic discovery of The Clotilda, the last known slave ship to arrive in America illegally transporting enslaved Africans. The documentary, which made its world premiere at Sundance in 2022, was acquired by Netflix. Higher Ground, President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama’s production company, will present the film, alongside Netflix.
In addition to his film and TV work, Questlove continues to cement himself as one of the most sought-after DJs in pop-culture with a resume that includes gigs for The Academy Awards, The White House, Cartier, and hotels and nightclubs around the world. After streaming nearly 300 virtual DJ sets during the pandemic in 2020, he used this momentum to launch his own Twitch show called GO DJ, which champions sets from renowned international peers.
Questlove has written multiple books including the New York Times bestsellers Mo’ Meta Blues and Creative Quest, the GRAMMY nominated audio book Creative Quest, Soul Train: The Music, Dance and Style of a Generation, the James Beard nominated somethingtofoodabout, Mixtape Potluck and the newly best seller Music Is History.
Adding to his multitude of multi-hyphenates, Questlove served as the Executive Music Producer and Composer on the A&E Miniseries Roots. He also scored Chris Rock’s film, Top Five and co-produced the GRAMMY Award winning Original Broadway Cast Recording of Hamilton. Questlove also hosts his own acclaimed podcast Questlove Supreme on iHeart. In 2020 Questlove co-starred in Disney Pixar’s Academy Award-winning animated feature Soul, which landed him an NAACP Image Award nomination for “Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance.” Most recently in 2022, Questlove was named one of “The 100 Most Influential People of 2022” by TIME.
Quest for Craft is executive produced by Questlove, The Balvenie, Alexis Rosenzweig, and Two One Five Entertainment.