Whisky Review: Balblair 2005 Vintage 1st Release 2017
- Category: Highland single malt scotch whisky
- Origin: Balblair Distillery
- Bottling: Inver House Distillers Ltd.
- ABV: 46%
- Cost: £42.95
What they say
Only a handful of American oak, ex-bourbon casks laid down in 2005 were selected by Distillery Manager John MacDonald to form this classic Balblair expression. Light, fruity and refreshing, this classic Vintage embodies Balblair’s house style.
Official tasting notes
- Appearance: Light sparkling gold in colour.
- Aroma: Full bodied with the classic aromas of fresh green apples, ground spices and honey. The American oak ex-bourbon barrels used in maturation impart notes of oaky vanilla, leather and oranges with a hint of fragrant cut flowers and smoke.
- Palate: Balblair’s signature style of citrus orchards is followed by intense sweetness of toffee and vanilla.
- Finish: Rounded off by a deliciously spicy, long finish. The superb dram is bright and full of character, a ray of sunshine in a bottle.
What I say
Sampled during the #BalblairLive tasting held on Facebook on 21st February 2018. As usual with Balblair’s vintage bottling and batch release program I confused myself into thinking I had previously sampled this until I realised the last 1st Release was bottled in 2015 and this stated bottled in 2017.
My tasting notes:
- Appearance: Champagne Gold (3/20), numerous slow-forming medium-fine tears leave tapered legs
- Nose: Green apple, fresh apple juice and rosy apple sweeties, crisp but also sweetened with a little honey, vanilla enhances the sweetness, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice adds a citric edge to the apple crispness too.
- Taste: Zesty oranges and lemons, crisp apple, honey and golden syrup, biscuit malt, vanilla and toffee, some lemon zest cleanses the palate
- Finish: Medium-long, sticky honey, zesty lemon sauce (lemon chicken), zesty spices also reveal
A slightly sweeter edge is presented in the fruitiness in this release and also some of the flavour elements have ‘moved’ on the palate, much less raw wood and spice in the main body and these elements are now reserved for the finish it seems.
I seem to prefer this one ever so slightly to the 1st release in which those fruity elements were a little too fresh and crisp and bare oak was revealed.
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