Ballantines 17




Pale Gold

At first I was a little daunted with writing a review of Jim Murray’s Whisky of the Year 2011 but then I said to my self ‘Bah! Who cares what Jim thinks!’

Let me tell you what I think.

This is truly an absolutely brilliant blended whisky. It’s strength lies in delivering every single element in subtlety and perfect harmony.

The nose is like digging through a multi-layered dessert using a big fat silver spoon. The first layer is honey and a beautiful pudding. Dig deeper and you will find a thin layer of butterscotch and vanilla on top of which are thin slices of juicy, moist pears. (I’m drooling just writing this!). The base of the dessert is made up of delicate bran crumble pastry sprayed with just the slightest hints of something floral. One of the sweetest, most delicate noses you will find.

The palate is a full bodied, slightly oily, silken affair with your taste buds. As the first, more prominent, sweeter profiles start to fade there comes a mysterious complexity about this blend. The tiniest wisp of chocolatey smoke coupled with an elegant woody grace make this one of the most astonishing of spirit deliveries. The gentle spices and that gorgeous, but minuscule, after taste of a Cuban cigar box wrap up, what has to be in my books, the Whisky of the Year.

What? Jim already said that? Bah! Who cares what he thinks!

Rating : 94


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