Balvenie is one of those distilleries that just manages to keep giving us fantastic quality, alright it isn’t the cheapest but these days you have to pay for quality ! So when I recently visited the distillery for a tour I was as usual quite excited, not only do I love looking round this distillery but you know you will be treated to some fantastic whisky come the end of the tour. As we walked round we came to the world famous warehouse 24.. And anyone who is a member knows that once inside your going to see some rather old casks and have the chance to sample something rather special at the end of the day.. This now leads me into today’s tasting.. As a member we got to sample a 34yo first fill oloroso cask that was laid to rest way back in 1982, now most who know me know I am really starting to love my sherried whisky so this was going to be a real treat for me.. As soon as the cask was opened the aromas just rose from the sleeping cask like a flurry of angels after a drunken night on the tiles.. I know by this time I had a grin like a Cheshire Cat !
The cask like I said was a first fill oloroso butt, filled in 1982 and sample was taken 31st may 2016.. The strength is 48% and the colour is a deep deep copper.. O and there are plenty of black bits floating around.. A true straight from the cask sample..
Nose.. The first wave is rich bonfire toffee, thick molasses and burnt caramel, candied orange, dates and figs give you the dark fruity onslaught you knew would eventually come, there is such a deep rich chocolate note that just accentuates the natural wood spice note with vanilla and plum sauce.. But that toffee note just refuses to give way. After the long sleep in this single cask the whisky just starts to evolve and it just keeps getting bigger and bolder..
Palate.. This just went up another notch.. Big bold dark fruits, those dates, figs and sultanas give a quality flavour while orange peel and black coffee notes mingle with dark toffee and rich chocolate cake and sugared almonds.. Somewhere in the background there is a hint of plum, poached pear and stewed cooking apples..
Finish.. Dry and elegant..
Thoughts.. I have only one problem with this whisky.. The people at Balvenie take you around the distillery, they give you a superb tour, you have a very generous tasting from the core range ( not to be sniffed at ) then they introduce you to a STUNNING whisky like this only to be told you can’t buy it ( introduce the tears) yes ok I probably couldn’t afford it if they did but boy would I try my best to get a bottle.. This is extremely well balanced, very complex and it has one of the very best noses I have come across. This really is a whisky that demands your entire attention and as much time as you can afford to give to it. The nose just kept developing and once you got to the palate it was relentless, wave after wave of delicious flavours..
This sample reviewed was the sample given as a member off warehouse 24 and is available to any member who visits.. My sample was taken home in order to review..