I had the opportunity (and luck) to join and be part of a Tweeter tasting centered around the Balblair Distillery whiskies. I never had any of the Balblair whiskies before, and even though I already put my eye on a 1990 Islay cask bottle (after all, me being peat head) – I was very happy to be given a chance to taste it before purchasing it. But when the tasting event ended, another Balblair whisky jumped higher into my wishlist… Balblair have some good stuff!
Balblair 1997 – 2nd Release (46% ABV, £53)
Nose: Creamy, light lovely vanilla aromas hiding beneath a river of fruits – pears and apples comes to mind. sweet honey shows up as well. after a few minutes, some oranges and pineapples notes coming up. very fruity nose. lovely candy!
Palate: apples and pineapples on the front porch, vanilla, sweet honey and lemon custard, then continue with peppery wood notes. ginger and grapefruits
Finish: Very clean, quickly fade tho. makes you want to sip another one!
Conclusion: Fresh and fruity like a fruits salad. This is a fantastic summer evening whisky to sip when the sun sets down into the sea. A dangerous and tempting dram!
Balblair 1990 Islay cask – Exclusive for MoM (50.4% ABV, £125)
Nose: Comparing to the 1997 above, much more restrained – less fruity and heavier. The Vanilla and honey notes shows some muscle here. nail varnish, some sherry-like notes of sultanas and red berries, cinnamon, peat that crawls to the front over time
Palate: starts with gentle peat and brine. Oily and chewable. Then the fruits comes up.apples, Chinese fried banana desert.
Finish: very long, lingering spices, warming wood notes. some lemon notes after a while and peat is covering it all gently.
Conclusion: Yummy one! An excellent choice by the folks at Master Of Malt.
Balblair 1975 – 2nd Release (46% ABV, £208)
Nose: Starts with strong varnish and wax notes, then malty, zesty spices, old dusty wood. Some sherry notes dropped here and there like lightly dripping rain. Spices and fruity. After a while tobacco too, old leather, cocoa and some background light peat. then after another a minute or two, some bananas notes. it’s crazy stuff!
Palate: Oily. Old leather, spicy oak notes. Tobacco. Sherry notes of raisins, some nutty cocoa, zesty spiced fruits
Finish: Long and HEAVENLY, wood notes lingers forever. Surprisingly not strong notes but gentle waves with spices. relaxed long finish without turning bitter.
Conclusion: Monster dram. the king of the evening. A perfect textbook example of amazing old whisky with top of the notch wood management. sublime! Jumped to a very high place in my wish list. Anyone willing to buy me one? 🙂