Balvenie 21 Year old Port Wood Finish


Distillery/Brand: Balvenie
Region: Speyside
ABV: 40%
Color: Copper

Nose: 23
Taste: 24
Finish: 23
Balance: 24

Early on in my days as a malt enthusiast (read freak) I was always on the lookout for Jim Murrays’ 93+ point whiskies and this 21 year old port finished Balvenie was on top of my ‘must buy’ list. So imagine my utter delight when I discovered this at the Duty Free during one of my travels.

As expected I had no idea what I was drinking. Not only that, I had the audacity to write a three line review and post it for all and sundry to see. I praised it but had no inkling why I was praising it.

Today I know why.

Nose: Robust. Confident. As you would expect a 21 year old to be. A whisky, that is! The port finish comes through on the back of remarkably balanced cocoa beans and fruit cake wrapped in chewy toffee. Then there is the sweet beeswax complemented by gorgeous red apples and a teasing cinnamon spice. And grapes. Lots of grapes. Dark grapes.

Palate: Beautifully textured. I know it’s medium-bodied but the palate is sending thick syrupy signals to the brain. Must be all that cocoa, thick grapes and warm apple stew covered in salty nuts.

Finish: Long and seductive. The cinnamon fruitcake is back and renders you almost incapacitated.

This is truly an example of what real magic must feel like.

Rating: 94


Balvenie 12 Year old Double Wood





Pale Gold

Sweet sweet custard notes come in to play on the nose with sufficient hints of honey. The palate is a warm tingly mix of apple stew with a dollop of sugar on top. The finish is surprisingly long for a Speyside this mild with nicely balanced sweet notes covered in pears.

While my general comments are positive overall this single malt is not up to Balvenie’s usual high standards.

Rating : 84

Balvenie 14 Year Old Golden Cask




Full Gold

Complex nose. Slightly floral. Slightly fruity. Smooth delivery which leaves some spices at the back of the throat. Rich nutmeg, all spice, pine seeds. Mixed in chocolate and raisins. The rum casks play their role admirably without appearing too boisterous. Didn’t expect something so complex from something this young. A beautiful mix of dry fruits and flowers. A splash of water will open up and magnify all the flavors.

Rating : 91