Appearance: Clear, coppery amber with polished bronze highlights.
Aroma: Stewed and tropical dried fruit with cream soda/creamy custard vanilla, floral parma violet and delicate lightly gingery and cinnamon spice.
Taste: (diluted to approx. 43%) Smooth and easy yet flavoursome. Honeyed sherry sweetness balances dry lightly spiced oaky tannins.
Aftertaste: Buttery vanilla and delicate spice. Harmonious but perhaps a tad too easy - David's made a floozy. Yum!
diffordsguide rating: 5/5
Upon pouring, a profusion of fragrant fruit is brought to the nose before sweet vanilla emerges alongside honey and spices. The taste is a velvety smooth balance between sweetness and oak tannin, underpinned by a sherried character full of dried fruits and a cinnamon and ginger spiciness. The finish is rich, sweet and spicy.
Nose: Pretty entrancing. Big, rich sherry and varnished oaky notes, with bark, old leaves (in a good way), then some darker treacle and black cherry notes.
Palate: Doesn’t disappoint. Intensely richly-flavoured without being cloying or overpowering. As with the nose, the emphasis is very much on the sherry, something I hadn’t previously associated with Balvenie until the show-stopping Craftsmen’s Reserve: The Cooper a few months back. Great concentration of rich dried fruit, then becomes pleasingly dry mid-palate - poss one or two Oloroso casks? A developing chocolatey note with water.
Finish: Long, multi-faceted and pleasingly drying - very moreish.
Comments: Absolutely terrific stuff, another wonderful surprise from the Balvenie.
Nose: Beeswax, runny honey, dried orange peel, sweet spice, Juicy Fruit chewing gum, mango and tropical fruit juice all up front. Hiding underneath all that was some dark sherry notes with dark chocolate, raisins and less sweet spice – cloves, liquorice root and cinnamon.
Palate: A smack of rich and spicy sherried fruit up front, with raisins and cinnamon backed up by old polished wood, leather, dried cherries and cloves. However, given a bit of time in the glass and on the tongue there’s a waxiness that appears, along with floral honey and a touch more of the Juicy Fruit gum sweetness.
Finish: Dark chocolate raisins, squishy currants, pine resin, unchopped tobacco leaves and lingering old wood.
Comments: Not what I expected at all. It takes the regular honeyed Balvenie profile and then twists it with some excellent old sherried whisky and some waxy and fruity bourbon matured spirit. I really enjoyed it.