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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

August 1, 2014



Two official
old Balblair

Balblair is a malt we all like to like. The distillery’s beautiful, the people are engaging and the whisky’s the epitome of fruity balance, both elegant and complex.

Balblair 1983/2013 (46%, OB) Five stars Ex-bourbon. Colour: pale gold. Nose: just s.u.p.e.r.b., the embodiment of elegance in whisky. Everything’s been fine-tuned to perfection, with some vanilla but not too much, plums, apricots and quinces but not too much, some honey but not too much, many flowers including honeysuckle and maybe jasmine, and on top of all that, a drop of the fruitiest olive oil. Add three fresh almonds and hazelnuts. I cannot see who wouldn’t love this. Mouth: yeah, everything is perfect. Fruit juice ex-American oak ;-). Flower nectars and honeys, mirabelles, butter pears, white currents, then more soft cinnamon and an elegant vanillaness. Finish: maybe not extremely long but it’s got these ripe fruits again, the soft spices and, above all, a cleanliness that’s always welcome in any finish. Comments: not exactly the fab old ones from the 1960s, but we aren’t that far away. SGP:541 - 90 points.

Balblair 1978/2009 (46%, OB) Four stars and a half One of these older officials that we’ve missed went they came out, shame on little WF! Ex-bourbon barrels as well. Colour: dark straw. Nose: it’s a grassier expression, starting with more oils and waxes as well, although I wouldn’t call this a waxy whisky. It’s also a tad coastal, and rather less vanilla-ed. Not the fruitiest Balblair I’ve been privileged enough to nose, I’d say. Same almonds/hazelnuts as in the 1983. Mouth: ah, this is great again. Rather fatter, with more body than in the 1983, but maybe also less cohesion, whatever that means in whisky. The American oak’s less obvious, so there’s rather less vanilla, while the fruits are a little ‘wilder’. Oranges, peaches, a very wee smokiness (toasted oak?), maybe touches of ripe kiwis and litchis…  Finish: longer than that of the 1983, with a little more menthol this time. Like this finish a lot. Comments: very similar quality, it’s not easy to tell you which one I liked best. Well I think it was the 1983. Both are highly quaffable, in any case. Ha! SGP:551 - 88 points.

More tasting notes Check the index of all Balblair I've tasted so far


Whiskyfun fav of the month

July 2014

Favourite recent bottling:
Banff 1975/2013 (43.7%, Malts of Scotland for Dram Brothers and Vinotek Massen, Luxemburg, cask #MoS 13056, 72 bottles) - WF 91

Favourite older bottling:
Clynelish 21 yo 1965/1986 (86 US proof, Duthie for Corti Brothers Sacramento, USA) - WF 98

Favourite bang for your buck bottling:
Aberlour 'A'bunadh' Batch #45 (60.28%, OB, 2013) - WF 87

Favourite malternative:
Diamond 10 yo 2003/2013 (54.4%, Duncan Taylor, Guyana, cask #72, 324 bottles) - WF 91







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