Review: Balblair 21 Years Old 1993 Cask Strength

Category: Highland single malt scotch whisky

Origin: Balblair Distillery

Bottling: Gordon & MacPhail; Cask Strength; Cask 1962

ABV: 53.4%

Cost: [sold out]

balblair-1993-cask-strength-gm

What they say:

Distilled 28/06/1993 at Balbair distillery and matured for a full 21 years in a 1st fill Sherry Puncheon (Cask #1962) before bottling on 10/11/2014 at cask strength 53.4% ABV

Colour

Dark Amber.

Body

Full.

Finish

Long, mouth warming with a lingering milk chocolate edge.

Cask Type

1st fill Puncheon cask.

Style

Fire side Dram.

AROMA without water

Intense Sherry aromas with figs, stewed plums and delicate hints of charred oak.

TASTE without water

Rich fruit cake, rum and raisin flavours initially, which combine with an underlying hint of dark chocolate.

AROMA with water

Charred oak, beeswax polish and Sherry notes combine with hints of apple peel.

TASTE with water

Sweet with sherry influences, raisins and subtle almond flavours. Orange citrus and a milk chocolate edge develop.

What I say:

A cask strength Balblair expression matured for 21 years in a 1st fill sherry puncheon by Gordon & MacPhails, should tick all the right boxes as I love sherry monsters and the colour on this alone fits that bill.

Colour:

Dark burnished bronze (16/20), medium-fine oily streaks

Nose:

Molasses, treacle, cola syrup, fragrant florality, meaty, nutty, deep & rich dried fruits; raisins, prunes

Taste:

Nutty, molasses, treacle, raisins, cherry liqueur, toasted oak wood, brown bread, iron/brass pennies/coppery metallic

Finish:

Medium-length, toasted nuts and burnt/over-caramelised sugars

Overall:

Sadly too much dried fruit and a little over-toasted/burnt tasting, perhaps I was having an off day as I don’t know where such an unusual metallic taste came from in a whisky of this age – probably needs water to get the best from it but I didn’t have enough to try.

Score: 81/100

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