Whisky Review: Balvenie Single Cask Traditional Oak Cask 15yo (Cask #214) (Usquebaugh Society BTC 2014 #3)

After two polarizing days in the blind tasting competition it’s time to see where the pendulum takes me today: zero points or lots of points.

Below you’ll find my notes (Nose/Palate/Finish) as written before the bottle revelation but here’s what I guessed it to be and why:

I went for Cragannmore 14yo 46%  (while thinking of a signatory bottling). It was clear it’s ex-bourbon cask with vanilla & honey, but it had a growing-over-time sweet floral note and with something mineral underneath it. Immediately I felt it’s a speyside distillery as it wasn’t grassy/lighter enough for lowland and highlands was out of question by the rules. But which one? that was the real question and it was hard. I looked at the notes and eventually went for Cragganmore because of the floral and mineral notes. I felt it wasn’t as mature nor strong as the previous whiskies in the competition so went for 14yo and 46%.

Update: It’s Balvenie single cask 15yo. (cask #214, Distilled: 11.01.1999, Bottled: 13.02.2014)

Well, surprisingly I did quite and got 52 points for region, age and ABV. But Balvenie? The cask profile is very un-Balvenie which I assume was the reason it was included in the game. Nasty curve here 🙂

Balvenie Single Cask Traditional Oak Cask 15yo (Cask #214) (47.8%, 350 bottles)

balvenie 15yo traditional oak cask #214Nose: starts as very standard ex-bourbon cask whisky, lots of vanilla and honey, some floral notes and there’s some mineral touch to it all. As time pass by the floral note get stronger and is very sweet (of sugary type) but it doesn’t get to perfume-y level.

Palate: Spicy with pepper, grapefruits, vanilla and honey and some oak.

Finish: Short-medium length with wood spices, pepper and short lingering honey and floral sweetness.

Thoughts: I usually love Balvenie 15y single cask. I even have such a bottle at home and it’s always a recommended purchase if the cask do provide Balvenie profile to the whisky (unlike this one) so taste before buying 🙂



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