The Balvenie 21 YO – PortWood

ABV: 40 %
Origin: Speyside
Type: Single malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 1
Impression: 5/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sweet and fruity. At first there’s a very big bucket of mixed fruits. There are raisins, blackberries, cherries, oranges, lemons and ripe nectarines. The bucket sits on a dusty bookshelf together with som leather-bound old books. The whole thing seems to be wrapped up in a nice layer of honey and vanilla. There’s also a malty note in the background. This is a complex, wonderful nose. It really makes up for the lack of power with some big flavours.

Mouth: It starts out with vanilla, dust and a hint of lemon. After a few seconds it starts to grow and the maltiness together with honey and orange peel create a very nice core flavour. With time, the bitter side sort of takes over as the oakiness starts to come through. The red and darker fruits are not as present as on the nose and the orange peel note is very pronounced. It’s got a thick texture to it and it feels very rich.

Finish: It kind of starts out with a flavour arc where the sweetness starts out on a low level and then after increasing moves over to become a sweet orange peel bitter fruitiness. It then seemlessly turns over to a dusty oakiness as the flavour intensity decreases. The darker sweet fruits show up in the late finish and the oakiness becomes nutty and brings some hazelnuts down the road. This is a fantastic, quite complex whisky even though it lacks some power.

Additional information
This 21 YO was first released in 1996. It’s aged in ex-bourbon casks and then finished for a couple of months in 30 YO ex-port pipes. This version shouldn’t be mistaken for the travel retail version, which is sold with higher strength and is unchillfiltered.

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