Back with Balvenie reviews today from my time at The Whisky Exchange Show 2016.
Strangely they didn't have any of the other ranges to try, only the single barrels were available. This is the 'single barrel' range, all from selected single casks or barrels. (duh)
Balvenie 12 Single Barrel 47.8%
Nose: Lovely, fresh, honey, sweet floral notes, vanilla, malt, fresh fruit.
Taste: Quite full, fresh fruit, apple and pear, oak spice, vanilla, then more pear.
Finish: Medium length. Malty with oak.
This is from a 1st fill Bourbon barrel. Didn't get the barrel number I'm afraid.
Balvenie 15 Single Barrel 47.8%
Colour: Light Amber
Nose: Fruity, malty, some light Sherry, probably 2nd fill, cask char.
Taste: Sweet, malty, nutty, slightly rubbery, then tannins.
Finish: Medium length. More tannins, a little harsh bitterness.
From a Sherry cask, I'm guessing 2nd or 3rd fill. There are some of these with a much darker colour.
Colour: Light Gold
Nose: Lots of oak, dry, honey, spice, dry ginger, pressed flowers.
Taste: A honeyed/floral Balvenie, oak and tannins, spiced with dried orange peel.
Finish: Medium length. Lots of oak in the finish with tannins.
This was from barrel 1868 which was a 3rd full Bourbon barrel. The oak feels.
Out of these, I think the 12 was my favourite. Although because every barrel is different, it is likely that the quality is quite changeable. I can image that a fresher Sherry 15 would have done better. Oh well, these can be quite expensive anyway, especially the 25.
Network Average: 75.6
Best Score: 92
Worst Score: 44
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
75-79 Very Good