The Whiskymaker’s Editions Bal Masque

What they say

The fourth release in The Whiskymaker’s Editions series, Bal Masque is a showcase of The Lakes Distillery’s sense of adventure.

Each one-off Edition is an expression of creative freedom, with an intrinsic objective to create outstanding flavours.

Complex and aromatic, Bal Masque bears the mystery and seduction of a masquerade ball. Flavours and aromas mingle like masked revellers with featherlight touches.

Paying homage to its risqué nature, this is not about playing safe and in transporting us to unchartered territories, the whiskymaker has masterfully conducted enigmatic French oak casks.

Working with French oak for primary maturation can be tricky in comparison to using American and Spanish oak, but the results can be quite fascinating. When used exclusively, the abundance of tannins and wood extractives can create a beautifully seductive and mysterious character.

With Bal Masque, forbidden orchard fruits entwine with sweet sensory spices, raisins, vanilla and nutmeg, and subtle background notes of toasted almonds and incense.

Non-chill filtered, bottled at the natural colour and 54% ABV, The Whiskymaker’s Editions – Bal Masque is available throughout the UK from Friday 3rd September 2021, RRP £70.

What I say

The latest expression in The Whiskymaker’s Editions series from Dhavall at The Lakes Distillery. This one features French Oak casks.

  • ABV 54%
  • Age NAS
  • Bottler Official
  • Bottling The Whiskymaker’s Editions Bal Masque
  • Cask French Oak
  • Category Single malt whisky
  • Cost £70
  • Origin The Lakes Distillery
  • Outturn n/a
  • Region England
  • Released 2021
  • Vintage undeclared

My tasting notes

  • Appearance Golden orange (9/20), beaded, fine tears and long, fine legs.
  • Nose Vinous, winey, fruity, esters, red grape and pear, sweet and dessert-like, peach jelly, pear tart, soft milk chocolate biscuits or digestives, woody oak, gentle spices and tannins, cinnamon and gingerbread, orange oil.
  • Taste Medium-light bodied, smooth, toffee, cinnamon schnapps, closed fruits, barley sugar and hard wine gums or boiled sweets, becomes juicy but also some spicy peppery heat, five spice powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, later or when reduced with water more malty barley.
  • Finish Long, mouth-watering, spiced honey or toffee.
  • Overall Quite a refined and polished expression, quite tight or closed in places. A good malty caramel sweetness infused with fruits but encased in French oak, needs a little water to loosen it up.

Score 84/100

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