Google Balvenie vs Burnside, reloaded

Serge whiskyfun
Thousands of tastings,
all the music,
all the rambligs
and all the fun


Facebook Twitter Logo
Guaranteed ad-free
copyright 2002-2023


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

February 24, 2023


Balvenie vs. Burnside, reloaded

We did such a little session in January, here's another one.

Photograph, a cask of Burnside 'vatted malt' somewhere in Scotland, sometime in 2017 (Whiskyfun Archive)




Balvenie 16 yo 'French Oak' (47.6%, OB, 2022)

Balvenie 16 yo 'French Oak' (47.6%, OB, 2022) Four stars
More finishing craze here, as this noble baby was finished in French Pineau des Charentes, which is must (moût, grape juice) fortified to approx. 17% vol. with some cognac and aged in oak for at least 1 year for the whites. There's white pineau, rosé pineau and red pineau, not too sure which one has been used by Balvenie. Young Pineau is pretty cheap but they age very well in wood and you could find some old ones that would command higher prices. Grosperrin make some excellent old Pineau. Now Pineau has a flipside, it drinks way too fast so make sure not to have it with ice, or it will drink even faster. Colour: light gold. Nose: I find it extremely mirabelle-y, which was already one of the Distillery's traits in my book. So they have added mirabelles to mirabelles, while I love mirabelles. Also flowers (dandelions), apricots, golden delicious and quinces, plus some lighter acacia honey, some golden sultanas, hochicha (roasted tea) and early grey. Almost a middle-aged ex-bourbon Balvenie seen through a magnifier. Mouth: rather tarter, much more citrusy and spicy than your usual unsherried Balvenie this time. Grapefruit liqueur with some turmeric and ginger. Touches of bitter and tonic water, which imparts a feeling of… say Balvenie Spritz. The background remains rounder and softer, with the usual quinces, mirabelles and, this time, sultanas from the Pineau. Finish: long, spicy and citrusy. Tangerines. Similar feeling of turmeric – does turmeric still cure everything? Comments: I like this fusion malt a lot. Totally Balvenie on the nose, much more 'deviant' on the palate. Things could have gotten much, much worse.
SGP:651 - 86 points.

Burnside 26 yo 1994/2021 (49.8%, The Whisky Cask Company, bourbon, cask #5115, 245 bottles)

Burnside 26 yo 1994/2021 (49.8%, The Whisky Cask Company, bourbon, cask #5115, 245 bottles) Four stars and a half
This 'vatted Burnside' by our most friendly neighbours in lovely Switzerland. Colour: white wine. Nose: totally pure Balvenie of proper age. Orange blossom mirabelles, quinces, vanilla, meadow honey, dandelions, hay in the barn, nougat and Szechuan pepper. Tiny touches of pink grapefruit (which you would find in Szechuan pepper, I agree). Mouth: very creamy mouthfeel, think 'a blend of mirabelle liqueur and limoncello'. Then more Szechuan pepper (and there, pink grapefruit). A little peach syrup, quince jelly, lemongrass syrup, custard tart. I find it so very Balvenie! Finish: medium, a tad tarter, with more oranges, early grey, perhaps even a drop of Manzanilla (I know, bourbon). Comments: extra-point for the purity of it. In other words, the malt did it almost all by itself here, with the help of a proper un-rinsed barrel. Currently a very nice article about rinsed ASBs in Whisky Mag, check it out. Great Balvenie, hoppla.

SGP:651 - 88 points.

Very pleased.

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







Whiskyfun's Home