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

October 1, 2020


Balvenie with a The

So only officials today. Sure we have a proper load of Burnsides in the reserve, but those will be tackled later.

Balvenie 12 yo ‘The Sweet Toast Of American Oak’ (43%, OB, +/-2019)

Balvenie 12 yo ‘The Sweet Toast Of American Oak’ (43%, OB, +/-2019) Three stars
These are bourbon barrels that are ueber-toasted once they’ve arrived in Bonnie Scotland. Hope Washington won’t take umbrage. Colour: gold. Nose: typical Balvenie profile in my book, with a large mirabelle tarte covered with custard, as well as preserved apricots, as well as some rather light acacia honey, as well as a little nougat or turon. Also whiffs of sweeter beer, why not pale ale? The nougat side would never stop growing. Mouth: a little oak-froward at first, less ‘smooth’ and fruity than other Balvenies, becoming grassy and indeed, oaky. We’re talking sawdust, fresh oak. Did they shave the casks too? In the end, its rather a bitterer version of B. Finish: medium, grassy, some parts remind me of some beers aged in oak. Can’t remember the name, I know more about pineapple pizzas than I know my beers. Quite. Comments: a very fine drop, but I’m not sure this Nigel-Tufnelesque oaky side is exactly for me.
SGP:461 - 81 points.




Balvenie 21 yo ‘Single Barrel’ (47.8%, OB, cask #5883, 300 bottles)

Balvenie 21 yo ‘Single Barrel’ (47.8%, OB, cask #5883, 300 bottles)
It says ‘traditional oak’, so I suppose that’s a refill American oak hogshead. And we are absolutely not against that. Colour: light gold. Nose: a lot of putty, some nail polish, then some green tea, wheelbarrows of almonds and marzipan, while it would then gear towards the more traditional mirabelles and apricots that I always enjoy in Balvenie. There’s a touch of mint too, perhaps wild carrots… All that before it would turn to buttered popcorn. Mouth: big bodied, with some peppery touches upfront, the usual mirabelles again (but as jam), a pinch of grated coconut, then really green barley that you would have stolen from a field (boo). It’s still got youth and a lovely firmness, we’re not quite in post-prandial territories yet. Finish: long as a Frank Zappa solo, and even improving, I’m even finding a salty touch. Salt in Balvenie? More popcorn too, it’s true that caramelised and salted popcorn is a slaughter, as we say. Never buy very large bags of that and sit in front of Netflix. Comments: still kind of young, and just excellent.
SGP:551 - 89 points.



Balvenie ‘Tun 1509’ (52.4%, OB, Batch #7, 2020)

Balvenie ‘Tun 1509’ (52.4%, OB, Batch #7, 2020)
I believe they’re doing one batch of this tun a year. Colour: gold. Nose: I suppose there’s some sherry inside this time, not too sure, I’ve haven’t seen the sacred list. Burnt raisins, panettone, fudge and toffee, café latte, perhaps a spoonful of fig jam and one of peanut butter… With water: herbal teas, menthol and pine needles – on top of all the rest. Mouth (neat): lovely, it’s got the sexy roughness that we’ve always enjoyed in some other well-known NAS (a.k.a. pretty young) Speysiders from the olden times, with a good dose of chocolate, coffee, roasted peanuts, raisins, toffee and allspice. Classic no-fuss rich and convincing whisky. With water: the spices further come out, but the whole remains rather rounded and even a little easy, in a good way. Gingerbread and Stolle. Finish: long and even spicier, I mean more on spice cake. No, not space cake, spice cake. Comments: 70% sherry and 40% bourbon? Maybe, I have no proper clue at hand. And yes we’re the best at math.
SGP:561 - 87 points.




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