We are nearing the end of the single malt scotch reviews I had planned and for this review will look at the Balvenie. The Balvenie distillery is located in the speyside region of Scotland and is known for being one of the few distilleries left still doing their own maltings. Their master blender is the highly respect David Stewart, who has over half a century of experience under his belt. I am a real fan of Balvenie and the 15 single barrel is one of my favorite whiskies but for this review I’ll be looking at a rum finished 14 year old whisky. This was originally a limited release in the French market but now Balvenie has chosen to make this a standard product in it’s line of whiskies.
Appearance: Medium amber with slow moving legs
Nose: Initially I’m getting a lot of fruit, plums, raisins, bananas, oranges, sultanas and sour apple. There is a decent amount of oak floating around. As well as an off putting varnish type aroma, which I always seem to notice in rum. With water some light floral notes appear. As it continues to open up the sweeter vanilla and caramel show up but I still found this to a more fruit heavy bouquet.
Palate: At first fruity just like the bouquet. The raisins and plums arrive fruits followed by bananas, cherries and a sweet vanilla custard. The rum influenced caramel, milk chocolate and muscovado sugar add to the sweetness as it starts developing. Mid palate the wood starts coming into play and dries out the palate a bit which I found nice after the initial sweetness. The rum really hits it stride as it enters into the finish, which is moderate to long in length. Along with the rum there’s also notes of vanilla, sweet brown sugar and touches of oak. And the mouthfeel is slightly dry but full bodied and creamy.
Overall: I’ve been on this bottle for a month now before I did this review and I’m still not sure what to make of it. The bouquet tells me that this is going to be a light, fruity dram with some hints of floral notes. Yet on the palate with get this creamy sugary sweet dram that seems to be going in a different direction than the bouquet. This is one where I’d much rather spend tasting than smelling. The bouquet really doesn’t have a lot to offer but it is very nice on the palate especially in the finish. Nothing too exciting yet still well made.
Rating 83 / * * *S