I have cried only 3 times in my life. Dad’s funeral, the day the music died, and the day I found out that Balvenie Single Barrel 15 was discontinued. I have a special love affair with a decent Scotch whisky with no sherry finishing. There is something pure about that kind of stripped down composition because some distilleries do it so well. Balvenie is one of those distilleries. My forlorn sadness was tempered if only for a moment when I tried the sherried version. It will just have to do. Balvenie seems to brand itself as a luxury brand, and while I am not even sure what that means (Cutty Sark probably thinks they are), I think this designation is warranted. If there is a luxurious whiskey available on the shelf, today’s selection certainly embodies it.
A few notes on specifics. Balvenie ages their signature, honeyed malt for 15 years in a sherry butt and clocks in at a respectable 47.8% ABV. Each cask yields about 650 bottles (sherry butts are monstrous, if you’ll pardon the expression). Also, this butt is made out of European oak, which tends to be more porous than it’s cousin, American oak. With temp fluctuations, spirit interaction with the wood generally imparts some serious flavors of dried fruit and spice. Sounds good to me. Onward.
Nose- Strawberry and wine like. Brandy spice. Lime, citrus orange peel. Oven baked apples with cinnamon.
Taste- Lovely and sweet. Clean and sumptuous. Vanilla and citrus. Viscous and oily mouth feel. Big.
Finish- Wonderful. Dry feel. Bitterness but pleasing. Nutty. Almonds. Crazy long.
Comments- Finely crafted with a dynamite nose. Justin G said that this was a long, sweet kiss goodnight, no tongue. You take from that what you want but we were quite happy with this one. I hope you’re a rich dentist, cause this is $100 plus per bottle.
SWC Rating – 91/100
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