Google Balblair age vs vintage

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

October 6, 2020


Balblair age vs. vintage

A lot of changes amongst the second-tier distilleries these days (talking about notoriety, not intrinsic quality), especially when those distilleries start with the letter ‘B’. I mean, Benriach, Benromach, and indeed, Balblair… What’s up?

Balblair 18 yo (46%, OB, +/-2019)

Balblair 18 yo (46%, OB, +/-2019) Four stars
For reasons that escape me I hadn’t tried the current version of the 18 yet. Remember they have kind of dropped their all-vintages policy and went with the pack, doing rather age statements. Indeed, like Glenrothes. It’s expensive, but who counts? Colour: gold. Nose: I find it rather less freshly fruity than other expressions, and rather without the trademark bananas and papayas. Having said that, I’m finding some awesome notes of herbal teas, of eucalyptus, balsa wood, patchouli, preserved apricots, and raisins and walnuts, which suggest a sherry influence. I find it pretty complex, if a little un-Balblair. Mouth: the fruits are back, this time with a lot of marmalade and chocolate (Jaffa cakes), apricots, raisins, blood oranges, a little tobacco… It tends to become a little leafy, with some greener herbal teas. Wee notes of sour wine. Finish: medium, balanced, going from oranges to black tea, coffee and nutmeg. Comments: some parts feel young (was it a finishing?) and others well matured. It’s a very, very fine drop but then again, it’s expensive (150€) and I’m rather missing the aerial fruity beauty of some earlier all-bourbon expressions.
SGP:551 - 85 points.

Back to vintage statements, with this new, err, vintage version for LMDW that should have been introduced at WhiskyLive Paris…




Balblair 14 yo 2006/2020 (56.3%, OB, for LMDW, cask #77, 573 bottles)

Balblair 14 yo 2006/2020 (56.3%, OB, for LMDW, cask #77, 573 bottles)
Still the old livery this time! Colour: deep gold. Nose: a few whiffs of struck matches at first, but those do tend to go away, while leather and marmalade start to play first fiddles. Dried figs too, a little gunpowder remaining, walnut cake, cast iron (old Japanese teapot), rancio, a little saltpetre perhaps, old pile of coal in an old cellar… With water: gets really complex know, with old pu-erh tea, a box of cigars, some old-school orange liqueurs, fig wine, some old malmsey, humidor… and the expected walnut wine. A little tarmac too, that’s close to those struck matches in this context. Mouth (neat): extremely creamy, starting with quite a lot of ginger, old walnuts, white pepper and cocoa, getting then drier by the second, going towards fino rather than oloroso. Or is that amontillado? With water: very good, on mocha, cigars, chocolate, Seville oranges, liquorice, a touch of caraway and clove… Chocolate crunchers will love this one – and perhaps have it with chocolate indeed. I mean, proper chocolate. Finish: medium to long, always with this raw chocolate with notes of gunpowder, old orange cordial, high-end Germanic herbal liqueur (the ones they make with hundreds of different plants inside)… Comments: totally excellent, once you go past the initial gunpowder.
SGP:462 - 90 points.




More tasting notesCheck the index of all Balblair we've tasted so far







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