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The 2010 release of Balvenie 17yo is a bit of a curio, having been re-racked after inital normal maturation into casks that previously held...a peated Balvenie?! So this is a peated finish rather than a peated whisky. The smoke is there, but not as full-frontal as you'd get if the spirit itself was peated. A very interesting experiment, and we await the peated Balvenie that previously graced the casks with eager interest.
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This is definitely a five star or above. I will be sharing (reluctantly)(gladly) enjoyed
I have just opened one of these. It is very good. Only afterwoods did
A fantastic balance of the islay and speyside flavours. It's got the rich, 'sweet' fullness you get with Balvenie but with a lovely smoke that comes alive in the sinus's but not in a harsh way. For the price especially, I think this is a real gem, something that may surprise and delight guests, especially those who think they know what to expect from a Balvenie.
I heard from some Balvenie people that they made the peated spirit only to enhance the cask, and then simply discarded it. That means we will never see this particular "Peated Balvenie". Of course I might be wrong but they had no reason to lie :D
Now... I caveat this by saying that this is the most expensive whisky I've tasted. A group of us clubbed together. We expected a big nose (there wasn't one) but it came alive in the mouth. I'm a speyside lover and the others love Islay. This was a compromise and everyone was happy. Very smooth and long flavours.... but then, for twice the price of the Ardmore traditional cask (which in my humble opinion is a very good poorer cousin of this) It had better be.
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