Google The Time Warp Sessions, today Balvenie

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

February 5, 2020


Time Warp

The Time Warp Sessions,
today Balvenie

Including, as become customary, some independent undisclosed blended malts sold under the name ‘Burnside’.

Burnside 28 yo 1991/2019 (48.4%, The Taste of Whisky, Whisky Elements, refill bourbon, cask #7364, 204 bottles)

Burnside 28 yo 1991/2019 (48.4%, The Taste of Whisky, Whisky Elements, refill bourbon, cask #7364, 204 bottles) Four stars and a half
So this is officially a blended malt, a.k.a. teaspooned malt. Colour: straw. Nose: it’s more citric than any OBs, which may come from the fact that the cask was less active here. That leaves room for more white currants, lemons, gooseberries, apples and greengages, then a little menthol that goes so well within this kind of context. Granted, there is a little custard as well, but that works like, well, custard over chocolate mousse. A lovely fresh nose, very vibrant at 28. The wonders of proper refill wood with enough time… Mouth: it’s more ‘Balvenie’ now, that is to say more on mirabelles and other juicy sweet plums, apricots, white peaches… Tends to become sharper having said that, at times even a little acerbic, but that works extremely well here. Bags of cider apples and even more greengages. Very moderate vanilla. Finish: rather long, a tad creamier again. Custard over green apples and chasselas grapes. Comments: wonderful malt whisky au naturel, very fresh, even refreshing. But careful then…
SGP:551 - 88 points.

Let’s check if our theory about OBs being more cask-driven holds. Im-me-dia-te-ly!

Balvenie 15 yo 1998/2013 ‘Single Barrel’ (47.8%, OB, cask #01620)

Balvenie 15 yo 1998/2013 ‘Single Barrel’ (47.8%, OB, cask #01620) Four stars
Colour: straw. Nose: indeed, this has more tropical fruits, a little more vanilla and even coconut, as well as more butter, while the background is rather similar to that of the IB. Small berries, mirabelles, apples, touch of earl grey. Its rather fascinating to experience this feeling of just a layer of wood having been added over a malt whisky. You cannot not think of some Meursaults from the 2000s vintages (when oak was still fashionable). Or there, Parkerised wines. Mouth: much, much less differences on the palate, this time it’s almost the same whisky, with the same kind of tartness, plums, apricots, apples. But indeed there is a little vanilla cake. Very fine, just oakier – and yet it’s not oaky whisky at all. Finish: long and just as creamy as the IB. Coconut, vanilla and mirabelles., a little muscat and apples in the aftertaste.  Comments: I tend to like them as zesty as possible, but this one was absolutely excellent, for sure.
SGP:651 - 87 points.

And now back 30 years for today’s little oldie…

Balvenie 1969 (58%, R. Watson Aberdeen, +/-1980)

Balvenie 1969 (58%, R. Watson Aberdeen, +/-1980) Five stars
I believe R. Watson used to be connected to Cadenhead, but I’m not 100% sure. Or I may have forgotten (oops)… Colour: straw, with the very same shades and nuances. Nose: often the same story, you couldn’t quite tell about the origins of these additional flavours, is that bottle aging or a different distillate in the first place, or, granted, both. In this very case, we do have melons and mirabelles that smell pretty contemporary, but also a lot of moss, camphor, pine needles, well-aged tea (pu-ehr), embrocations, massage balm, sauna oils, and so on. This is simply ravishing. With water: just perfect. Flints, chalk, rhubarb, green oranges. Mouth (neat): utterly amazing, reminding me of an old Balvenie ‘As We Get It’ that we had tried quite some years ago. Fantastic grapefruits and lemons, with a pretty acidic arrival, while it’s then all razorblade-like, mineral, lemony, very tense, and pretty pungent. Cleans your palate, I can tell you. With water: huge citrus now. As juices, as sweets, as syrups and as liqueurs. Very impressive. Finish: long, ueber-clean, very citrusy and pretty chalky. Comments: it was a very punchy oldie, but as they used to say back in the days, there isn’t any hard whisky, only weak men. Stunning high-power lemony profile that hits right between your ears. That’s right, it punches your nose.
SGP:661 - 92 points.

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







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