I’ve tasted many of the Balvenie core range whiskies: from the 12yo Double Wood to the 21yo PortWood and some indies (spooned Balvenies). I even had a fabulous tour at the distillery (read my recap here). But how about aiming high and try the one high-end OB Balvenie we mortals can have (without going bankrupt)?
No, it’s not the Tun 1041 as I don’t think we can consider the Tun 1041 as core range OB, I’m talking on the Balvenie 30 years old. It’s a cask strength Balvenie, although the ABV may be misleading at 47.3%. The 30 yo Balvenie was matured in a combination of American oak and Oloroso sherry casks.
I’m fortunate having good friends who share the passion and one of the local friends who is a big Balvenie fan, actually went ahead, bought a bottle and invited me over for a dram. I didn’t say no 🙂 (Thanks O. !)
Balvenie 30 Year old (47.3%, buy for £440 here)
Nose: It’s a Balvenie – there’s no doubt here as the Balvenie classic profile shows up: Heather honey, whiff of vanilla, toffee, pears, white pepper, nutmeg, nougat, marzipan, nuts, floral: rose water and violets. it’s very elegant and the age is showing.
Palate: Gentle and soft Oak notes. freshness (is it 30 years old one??), Chocolate, Heather honey, gentle spices and a bit of parsley(!). Drinking more will reveal some floral and citrus notes.
Finish: Mellow heat and oakiness, smooth with lingering light sweetness.
Conclusion: Well, It’s truly a magnificent Balvenie, gentle and complex, showing age but still young at heart. My only gripe is the price. It used to cost £300 not so long ago and now say thanks if you can find it for less than £400. But still, it was quite an experience.