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

August 10, 2013


Tasting two discreet official Balvenie

I love Balvenie’s apricoty/quincy profile, so I’m usually a little less fond of those that are more oak-influenced or finished, but that’s not always the case, lets see… Having said that, DoubleWood is a little last year, there’s now TripleWood and I’m sure we’ll soon see Quadruple or even QuintupleWood versions (generally speaking, not especially at Balvenie). We could as well start to buy planks if you ask me ;-)…

Balvenie 14 yo 'Caribbean Cask' (43%, OB, +/-2013)

Balvenie 14 yo 'Caribbean Cask' (43%, OB, +/-2013) Three stars and a half There used to be a very good (WF 85) 14yo ‘Cuban Selection’ a few years back but I guess that one hasn’t been very successful in the good old US of A, unless the owners haven’t even tried to export it to Uncle Sam’s. Ah, nothing beats a sweet old embargo… Colour: gold. Nose: I do not know if this is sugar cane, but there’s an obvious leafiness, while the whole is not very aromatic. I had thought this baby would be mucho tropical, it’s not. We’re actually rather on tea and there’s even a feeling of wet newspaper, then mushrooms. A shy nose. Nice touches of grapefruits coming through after a while, though. Mouth: much, much more happening. Very nice ‘nervous’ start, citrusy, reminding me of some lemon-flavoured fudge I had in Scotland a while back. There is, indeed, a little cane sugar and even praline, then these touches of black olives and a saltiness that hint at rhum agricole (which they wouldn’t make in Cuba, would they?) I like this ‘world’ palate. Finish: medium length, maltier and more caramelly again. Muscovado sugar and orange zests. Comments: liked the palate quite a lot, the nose was more… What was it again? Same score as the older Cuban version. SGP:441 - 84 points.

Balvenie 17 yo 'DoubleWood' (43%, OB, 2012)

Balvenie 17 yo 'DoubleWood' (43%, OB, 2012) Two stars and a half An older version of the very popular 12 yo DoubleWood, which is highly popular in France. Colour: gold. Nose: this one is even shier than the Caribbean, which says a lot. Probably not a nosing whisky, but I do seem to discern whiffs of old roses, patchouli and oranges. Then we have a little vanilla, quite some fresh oak and more apple skins. It’s all discreet and shy but it’s also a pretty elegant whisky. After ten minutes: shortbread? Mouth: once again, the palate’s much more expressive but I’m not too fond of these notes of newish oak. You know, these gingery notes, bitter orange zests, oak pepper and such. On the other hand, it’s nicely fruitcaky as well (excuse me). Roasted nuts. Finish: not quite long but sadly, the green oakiness got even louder. Nothing overwhelming, but there are enough other great Balvenies. Comments: I do not want to try the TripleWood. I believe oak is malt’s best friend, but it can also become its worst enemy, especially when the distillate is fantastic. SGP:461 - 78 points.

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







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