Kategoriarkiv: Balvenie

The Balvenie 12 YO – Triple Cask

ABV: 40 %
Origin: Speyside
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 1
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sweet and very fruity. A big bowl of yellow pears, grapes and oranges with vanilla cream and a touch of honey on top. It’s a very fresh and vibrant nose. As time passes the sweetness move forward and a small bitter note comes through. The oranges together with the sweetness and the bitterness create a marmelade note. Some apricots are also coming through as well as a thin layer of menthol. The oakiness can be found within the vanilla note, but it takes a few minutes in the glass.

Mouth: The orange marmelade is dominating the palate together with apricots and honey. A touch of spicyness is present but it never really amount to anything special. The oak comes through pretty fast with vanilla, coffee and a feint nuttiness in the back. A distant note of black liquorice resides in the back and sort of adds another dimension to the palate. There’s no astringency and it’s a very juicy dram.

Finish: An immidiate oakiness brings a great freshly brewed coffee note. The fruitiness comes slowly and builds up over time, but the oak is just too strong to let it through completely. It’s a very nice and fresh oakiness with just the perfect amount of coffee and a touch of hazelnuts. The thin layer of menthol returns and creates a very nice aura surrounding the finish. There’s still no astringency even after a few sips. This is a well balanced and flavourful whisky.

Additional information
The 12 YO Triple Cask was released in 2013 as the entry level malt in Balvenie’s travel retail range. It’s aged in three different cask types individually; First fill and refill american ex-bourbon oak barrels and first fill ex-Oloroso sherry casks. It’s then married together in a tun.

The Balvenie 12 YO – DoubleWood

ABV: 40 %
Origin: Speyside
Type: Single malt
Bottles in collection: 1
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is fruity and sweet. There’s oranges, both the juice and the peel, together with honey and vanilla. It’s pretty laid back and very easy on the nose. After a while some green apples and pears join the fruity side and a soothing menthol lies as a thin layer over the fruits. There’s a small hint of cinnamon on top of the fruits and maybe just a hint of white chocolate. This is not very complex but still very pleasant on the nose.

Mouth: The honey comes first and then a touch of spicyness. There’s an immediate bitterness that comes through together with the fruitiness. It’s orange peel and oak together with vanilla and a speck of dust. The cinnamon is in there as well as a butterscotch note which appears after a few seconds. There’s a small hint of darker fruits well hidden in the background. There’s no astringency and it’s got a nice feel to it overall.

Finish: There’s a small dip in flavour at first, then the orange peel and the oak come back into focus. There are red berries and dried fruits coming through but they never take over. The oakiness is dusty with a touch of bitterness. The honey and vanilla are now long gone. There’s a coffee note, but mainly there’s just a grey weathered oak feel to it. In the tail end the oranges reappears together with a small rye note and gives it a nice send off. This is a good entry level single malt.

Additional information
Released in 1993, this is one of the first wine finished whiskies made. It’s matured for 12 years in second and third fill american ex-bourbon oak barrels and then finished in first fill spanish ex-Oloroso sherry butts for 9 months.

The Balvenie 12 YO – The Sweet Toast of American Oak

ABV: 43 %
Origin:
Speyside
Type:
Single malt
Bottles in collection:
1
Emptied bottles:
0
Impression:
3/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sweet and oaky. At first a mix of honey, vanilla and oak sits on top of a sweet and fruity mix of oranges and malt. Black liquorice creates an outer layer surrounding everything else. It’s very mild and inviting, but the oakiness is sort of overpowering it to a certain extent. With time in the glass the oranges increase in intensity and try to break through the heavy oak. A hint of cinnamon starts to emerge from the background too. This is a decent nose, but it sort of hides the Balvenie character, which is a pity.

Mouth: It starts out with a mix of herbs and spices, but soon reverts back to being sweet and oaky. Vanilla, honey and malt are making up the main body, but the oak is like a blanket on top. The oranges and orange peel are sitting in the background. There’s a butterscotch note coming through as well, but it’s not very protruding. With time the oak increases in intensity and the whole thing is a bit astringent and dry.

Finish: It starts out with the bitter notes of orange peel and oak, but it quickly reverts back to being over oaked. It’s very ”bitey”, astringent and dry and the whole finish is nothing but oak. It’s a nice enough wood flavour, but it gets a little boring after a few sips. There are some vanilla and honey notes within the oakiness, but they are more of a integrated part and get lost in there. This is not the best Balvenie out there, but it certainly reflects what it says on the bottle very well.

Additional information
This release is a part of the ”Balvenie Story Range”. It’s first aged for 12 years in refill ex-bourbon casks and then finished in heavily charred virgin american oak casks.

The Balvenie 21 YO – PortWood

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

The Balvenie 12 YO – Single Barrel (6544/164)

ABV: 47.8 %
Origin:
Speyside
Type:
Single malt
Bottles in collection:
1
Emptied bottles:
0
Impression:
4/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sweet and citrus fruity. A big wall of honey and lemon obscures everything else from the start. After a few second it opens up and vanilla, oranges and grapefruit comes through. It’s still very sweet though. There’s a veil of menthol creating a cooling effect and a fudge note develops with time in the glass. This is not complex but really pleasant on the nose.

Mouth: It starts out thick and honey sweet. A black pepper spicyness slowly builds up on the sides while bitter lemon and orange peel comes through in the center. There’s a dustiness sitting on top and a hint of tropical fruits in the back. Just as on the nose, fudge comes through after a few seconds. It’s slightly astringent, but the oakiness isn’t noticable.

Finish: A small wave of black pepper goes by and gets replaced by a dusty vanilla and some grapefruits. The oak comes through very fast and it’s a nice fresh oakiness with a softer mellow side to it. The bitter fruit notes create a walnut nuttiness together with the oak. The late finish is driven by oak and a lemon zest. This is well put together and there’s good cask influence, but it feels a tiny bit one-dimensional.

Additional information
In 1993 Balvenie started with limited single barrel releases. This bottle is drawn from a first fill ex-bourbon barrel. The cask number is 6544 and this is bottle no. 164 out of a maximum of 300 bottles.

The Balvenie 14 YO – Peat Week Vintage 2003

ABV: 48.3 %
Origin: Speyside
Type: Single malt
Bottles in collection: 1
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
Nose: Wet leather and burning hay cover a sweet and fruity baseplate. It takes a few seconds to get through the peat, but behind there’s a big bucket of fruits with orange zest and ripe red juicy apples. There’s also notes of honey, milk chocolate and a slight hint of vanilla. A hint of sweet black liquorice shows up with time in the glass.

Mouth: It’s very juicy and spicy. The fruitiness is in the center with wet leather surrounding it like a pouch. It’s got a bitter tang to it which gives the whole thing balance. The sweetness is surrounding everything in a thin layer. There’s dust and a general sense of age about it and that sense increases with time in the glass. There’s no oak or astringency showing up.

Finish: The fruitiness and spicyness immideatly spikes and then get replaced by the peaty flavours. Finally the oak shows up. It comes with a dark, high percentage cocoa chocolate. There’s no direct sweetness and there’s a good portion of hazelnuts in the end. There’s also a hint of tropical fruits peeking through on the tail end. The peat sits on the palate a long time after the dram’s demise.

Additional information
Balvenie makes peated whisky one week every year. This is the 2003 batch. The peat level used is 30 ppm. It’s aged in american ex-bourbon barrels and it’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.

The Balvenie 14 YO – Caribbean Cask

ABV: 43 %
Origin: Speyside
Type: Single malt
Bottles in collection: 1
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is very sweet and fruity. It’s got a really thick layer of brown sugar and brown syryp. Underneath the classic Balvenie fruitiness comes through with orange peel as the main attraction, but red apples and some raspberries are in there as well. A touch of cinnamon and chocolate completes this full and very rich nose.

Mouth: First impact is a very mild one. The sweetness, now with honey added, is first to come through and then cinnamon follows together with a small spicy note. The oak shows up and brings walnuts and dark chocolate. There’s a bitter tone to it and that sort of transcends from the oak into a fruitiness. It’s leaning heavily towards orange peel that, together with the sweetness, creates a layer of marmelade.There’s still a hint of red apples and raspberries but those are now well hidden in the background. There’s a touch of dust and it’s slightly astringent.

Finish: The flavours are very immidiate and a warm cinnamon spicyness teams up with brown syryp, honey and the orange peel. The rest of the fruitiness is not present anymore. It turns more and more towards the bitter side the longer the finish goes. It ends with oakiness, dust, walnuts and some cocoa powder. This is a christmas dessert in a glass.

Additional information
This 14 YO is aged for around 13-14 years in traditional american ex-bourbon barrels and then finished in new american oak casks seasoned with caribbean rum for about 9 months.

The Balvenie 16 YO – Triple Cask

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

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sweet and fruity. There’s a mix of oranges, apples and pears together with syryp, vanilla and a hint of butterscotch and/or toffee. The sherry notes are also present, but it takes a while before it opens up. It adds dried druits and berries and gives the nose a great span from darker to lighter notes. There’s a slight bitterness coming from a mix of orange peel and the oakiness. This is very pleasant on the nose.

Mouth: A very mild and easy approach brings the vanilla up front together with oranges and grapefruits. The oak shows up early with a nice walnut bitterness to it. There’s chocolate and a touch of cinnamon. There’s also a salty note which helps the the butterscotch and toffee to change towards salted caramel. A tiny amount of spicyness and a speck of dust sits on top. It’s quite complex despite the low ABV.

Finish: The finish just brings more of the same notes with vanilla and both plums, raisins, citrus fruits and berries. The oak moves forward and a big bucket of assorted tropical fruits appear. It’s still slightly bitter with orange peel and walnuts. It’s a very mild experience all the way through.

Additional information
This was released in 2013 as a part of the Balvenie’s travel retail range. It’s aged in three different cask types individually; First fill and refill american ex-bourbon oak barrels and first fill ex-Oloroso sherry casks. It’s then married together in a tun.

The Balvenie 25 YO – Triple Cask

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

Tasting notes
Nose: Very rich, dense and fruity. It’s surprisingly fresh for its age with a big bowl of fruits in focus. There’s oranges, ripe apples, gooseberries and a touch of liqeuor soakad cherries. There’s a generous amount of vanilla, honey and cinnamon and some oak spices clinging on towards the edges. Very pleasant.

Mouth: It starts out quite muted before the flavours come through. The fruit notes are toned down and leave place for a maltiness and some mild spices. The cinnamon and vanilla is still strong and come through together with some notes of dusty old leather books. The oakiness shows up with a slight bitterness and a hint of assorted tropical fruits within.

Finish: A sweet fruitiness (like marmelade) shows up then quickly subsides and gives room to a slightly bitter oak with notes of coffee, walnuts and some tropical fruitiness. The cinnamon is still present. The oak finish is long and very satisfying. As it slowly fades away there’s a tiny rye note with anis peeking through.

Additional information
This expression sits on top of the Balvenie travel exclusive range. It’s aged in refill and first fill american bourbon barrels and first fill spanish Oloroso sherry butts. Those are then married for at least 6 months before bottling.