Nose: Lots of syrupy honey up front, with floral notes, sweet apples, toasted oats, lightly coconutty Nice biscuits and dry straw, along with a bit of cinnamon syrup hiding underneath.
Palate: Very Balvenie – buttered toast with honey, cinnamon sugar, vanilla cream and caramel, backed up by a bit of fruit and some light, well balanced wood.
Finish: A touch of drying apple skin, more Nice biscuits, a hint of sour wood and a little bit of liquorice sweetness.
Comment: This very much does what it says on the (very prettily designed) tin – it’s classic bourbon cask Balvenie, biscuity and honeyed, and very easy drinking. A great alternative to DoubleWood and Signature for those who like their whisky without the heaviness of sherry.
Nose: A nice meadowy honey aroma, quite powerful. Develops lots of caramel, sweet orange, vanilla oak and chocolate notes with time in the glass, along with a pleasant leafiness and pine sap.
Palate: Sweet and sappy straight off the bat, with strong creamy vanilla and then the honey. Cocoa / milk chocolate in mid-palate on a bed of freshly-sawn oak, then some orange liqueur hints. Water releases a note of condensed milk and tinned fruit salad.
Finish: Medium-length, more fruit now – green apples and tinned pears.
Comment: First Fill Bourbon Cask. You know what you’re getting and this Balvenie definitely delivers in textbook style. The increasing number of fans of this style of whisky should be very happy with this.