BTC 2014 Sample 11

BTC Sample 11: Balblair 23yo 1990/2013

Lovely dram yesterday, a totally unexpected young Balmenach. Today we resume our bourbon-sherry pingpong in the direction of sherry once more. A lovely dram on the nose…

Now, I hear you saying: “Matti, is there a special significance to today’s header image? Do you want to impart a sense of the finite? Is this a metaphysical comment on the current state of world affairs? Is the bottle half full or half empty?”. Sorry to dissapoint y’all, I simply forgot to take the picture before starting to taste. On that bombshell, let’s get to it:

The nose is sherried, or perhaps sauterned or madeirad. Modern clean maturation, in any case, at least partly on european oak. I get almonds, oranges, fresh cake, caramel, cherries and hazelnut chocolate. Also, a bit later, winegums.

In the taste, the first thing I notice is a definite presence of wood. Not a real young’un this. There’s sultana’s (the juicy kind), quite present spices (cinnamon and cloves), clean sherry notes all round, well integrated. Also vanilla and a little caramel. This is all very balanced and nice. Dangerously drinkable. Into the finish it becomes slightly drying with orange peel, a sudden burst of mint and that cake again.

Overall, there’s not much I can fault this on. Possibly it is a little too balanced, making it slightly boring. This type of clean sherry always brings out Glendronach as a possibility, but also Glenmorangie. Both use double maturation of bourbon barrels into sherry or other winey casks, which is what I think I’m getting. I’ll go for one of them and  hope the region and ABV are right :)

My guess would have been:
Glenmorangie, Highland, 15yo, 46%

But I forgot the time, so my earlier guess stands:
Glendronach, Highland, 16yo, 46%

My score: 86/100

What it turned out to be:

Balblair 1990/2013 23yo (whiskybase)
ABV: 46.0%
Casks: American ex-bourbon & Spanish ex-sherry

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