Google Today young Balblair

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

November 21, 2019


Little Duos, today young Balblair

Should we expect a basket of fresh fruits? Ideal when the weather’s getting colder… As far as concept and packaging are concerned, Balblair just fell in line, just like Glenrothes. No more vintage goodness, back to traditional age statements. Not that we would complain mind you, after all that’s better than going NAS. Let’s have the (relatively) new 12, and then find an IB…

Balblair 12 yo (46%, OB, +/-2019)

Balblair 12 yo (46%, OB, +/-2019) Two stars and a half
Mixed feelings here and there, especially amongst the glitteratti and chatteratti of whisky, but let’s see… Colour: white wine. Nose: not the same Balblair, I hate to say, much more on porridge and cut apples, perhaps white currants, but with less roundness and expressive fruits than in the younger vintages. Cider, touches of fennel, rhubarb, all that’s pretty nice, though. Mouth: more tangy fresh apples, a little vanilla, more sweet cider, hints of grist and even flour, getting a little sweet-and-sour, not unlike some of the Gueuze beers. Also notes of lemon pie, covered with meringue s’il-vous-plaît, but the whole tends to become a little grassy and bitter, with quite some cinnamon. Finish: medium, maltier, with notes of white peaches and vanilla. Comments: I wouldn’t say it’s sheltering a lot of clean fruity Balblairness, but it sure is a very fine malt, while only a few geeks may complain.

SGP:441 - 79 points.

So we said a young independent Balblair… That’s become a little uncommon, has it not? Well you can always count on…

Balblair 8 yo 2011/2019 (57.8%, Cadenhead, Small Batch, 648 bottles)

Balblair 8 yo 2011/2019 (57.8%, Cadenhead, Small Batch, 648 bottles) Four stars and a half
Why so young? Well, this was actually one puncheon that’s been re-racked into two 1st fill sherry hogsheads in 2017, both seemingly re-married when disgorged this year. Ah, nothing beats family life! Colour: straw. Nose: fresh milk and butter, a little mustard and dry Madeira wine, fresh walnuts, iodine and aspirin, bandages, tapioca… I find this extremely intriguing, but first fill sherry, really? Was it fino? With water: maize bread, mustard, and natural wine! (macerated whites). Mouth (neat): some funny little beast for sure. Same flavours, more or less, mustard, cinchona, walnuts, chalk, prickly pears, artichokes, some salt… Wait, manzanilla? With water: some flavours, more or less, with in addition, just both a little sweetness and a little pepper. Finish: long like a great fino by Equipo Navazos. Just opened a Bota 54 de Fino the other day, pristine fino! Pepper in the aftertaste. Comments: this funny baby destroyed its official counterpart, I’m afraid. Sadly, I love this bone-dry style of whisky, and here we have more proof that in certain cases, excellence knows no age. What a great little whisky by Cadenhead!

SGP: 371- 89 points.

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







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