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August 21, 2014


Three fresh newish Balvenie

There’s a new 15 years old, but this time it’s ex-sherry. Let’s try it, together with too worthy compadres (not tasters, whiskies.)

Balvenie 12 yo 'DoubleWood' (40%, OB, +/-2013)

Balvenie 12 yo 'DoubleWood' (40%, OB, +/-2013) Three stars I like to follow the DW year after year, because I’ve always found it ‘average’, in the good sense of the word. Typically a bottle you can present any friend with, especially non-whisky drinkers. Colour: deep gold. Nose: it seems that there are even more fresh oranges than before, or is it me? This freshness is impressive, and so are the notes of honey, café latte and toasted gingerbread. I find it cleaner than earlier batches. All for the better… Mouth: a little more oomph would have been welcome, as although the arrival is big enough, it tends to fall asleep after a few seconds. Having said that, the profile is very pleasant, fruity, with only touches of burnt sugar and straight caramel. Quite some malt too (Ovaltine), a few raisins and a little chocolate. Finish: rather short but again, it’s pleasantly fresh and fruity. Caramel in the aftertaste. Comments: a very consistent dram. Haven’t they made it a little fruitier? SGP:541 - 80 points.

Balvenie 15 yo 'Single Barrel Sherry Cask' (47.8%, OB, cask # 16293, 2014)

Balvenie 15 yo 'Single Barrel Sherry Cask' (47.8%, OB, cask # 16293, 2014) Three stars and a half This new one was fully matured in sherry casks, contrarily to the older SBs that, if I remember well, used to be aged in bourbon. Colour: deep gold. Nose: we’re actually rather close to the 12, with similar oranges and honey, and certainly not a big sherriness like in, well, sherry bombs. So probably not first fill. This one’s actually a notch grassier and spicier after one minute or two, but it remains very fruity globally, and that would be fresh fruits rather than dried ones. So a light sherry on the nose. Mouth: an unusual arrival, with touches of dried porcinis and leather as well as notes of rhum agricole and even old wood. More and more triple sec after that, caramel liqueur, roasted almonds and raisin cake. Slightly burnt kugelhopf, would say the Alsatians. Rather creamy mouth feel, the strength is perfect. Finish: quite long, with this feeling of rum and raisins again. A little vanilla, chocolate and ginger in the aftertaste. Comments: not a tiring kind of sherry at all, they managed to keep the distillery’s ‘rather light’ style. I say very good stuff. SGP:551 - 84 points.

Images of Dufftown 1988/2013 'Balvenie Castle' (53,2%, Malts of Scotland, 266 bottles)

Images of Dufftown 1988/2013 'Balvenie Castle' (53,2%, Malts of Scotland, 266 bottles) Four stars This could well be Burnside, aka teaspooned Balvenie. Malts of Scotland have been issuing massive quantities of whiskies in recent months, almost all either very good, or very intriguing. Or both. Colour: white wine. Nose: probably refill bourbon! This time it’s a feisty, fresh and light Balvenie, actually not very far from the lightly sherried ones, which isn’t abnormal, is it? Say rather garden fruits than oranges, but a few oranges are there as well. Otherwise it’s all rather plums and apples, with a light honey as well as hints of sweet beer. IPA? With water: more IPA! I cannot not think of my beloved Lagunitas, if any friend knows where I could buy some in Europe, that would be mucho cool. Mouth (neat): very typical! Big plums and quinces with touches of honey and pollen, plus quite some vanilla and one marshmallow. We’re very close to the… older official 15yo SBs! With water: indeed. Just the green spiciness is a bit different. I like this. Finish: good length. Green tea, ripe apples and cinnamon. Comments: now it reminds me of an old Balvenie ‘As We Get It’. Pretty excellent, just the aftertaste was a little less to my liking. SGP:551 - 86 points.

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



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