Tuesday 29 May 2018

A few blends: BNJ, Ballentine's 17, Christmas Reserve & VAT69 1965 Reviews

Hi everyone,

A few Scotch blends today as that’s a lot of what is sold throughout the world.
As per usual I’ve selected some random, discontinued, limited editions that you won’t be able to find, as that’s pretty much all I review these days! Just kidding, there is one 17yo you’ll be able to get if you can fight the Jim Murray fans away from it.

Bailie Nicole Jarvie 40%
Colour: Gold, not much E150a
Body: Light
Nose: Lots of light fruitiness, lots of Glenmorangie-esque apple and pear, a bit of mango, a little waxiness, a leafy note. Quite juicy actually.
Taste: A little hot, then creamy with fruit- Apple pie, more pear though, a leafy note, Bourbon waxiness, a little oily.
Finish: Medium length. A little heat, but fades gradually.
Discontinued now. Quite a high malt content of mainly Glenmo I think. Not worth hunting down for myself personally, although I know that many people had this as their go to.
Ballentine's 17 43%
Colour: E150a
Body: Medium
Nose: Quite herbal at first- Cloves, oriental tea, green tea, lots of creaminess with mint ice cream, brown sugar, a wisp of peat smoke, polished wood. Citrus notes- Lime, lemon and vanilla.
Taste: Citrus fruit, sweet tea, green tea, lime, more peat than the nose would suggest. Long development, lots of spice then peat smoke building more.
Finish: Medium length. Honey, lemon and lime, oak and salt, a little drying.
Took a while to truly appreciate this, not a beginner’s whisky IMO. It’s subtle and well blended though.

Ballentine's Christmas Reserve 40%
Colour: E150a, lots of it.
Body: Medium
Nose: Fruity, plums, blackberries, spice, cinnamon, Christmas cake, nuts, grain and Brandy.
Taste: A bit oily, fruit and a bit of nut then more spice builds.
Finish: Short length. Spiced oak.
Very meh, although the nose is alright.
VAT69 43% 1965 Bottling
Colour: E150a
Body: Light/Medium
Nose: Creamy vanilla, nice grain ethanol, natural grassy wheat, pear, sugar pastille, herbal pine and mint.
Taste: Soft and light, very creamy, nice mouthfeel, grain forward then vanilla, lots of pine and mint with this herbal background. Very interesting. Menthol. Pear and green apple.
Finish: Long. A nice finish with more pear and green apple, creamy oak.
Always super interesting to taste some of these older drams. It’s almost like opening a time capsule of how whisky was made and put together back then. A very nice version, unrecognisable from the (cough) modern shite.

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Reviews #632-#635
Whisky Network Reviews #752-#755

Network Average: 74.9
Best Score: 94
Worst Score: 12
0-49 Terrible
50-59 Bad
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
70-74 Good
75-79 Very Good
80-84 Excellent
85-89 Superb
90+ Magnificent

Full Disclosure Disclaimer: I currently work as a Brand Ambassador for Penderyn Distillery. The views expressed here are purely my own and do not reflect the views of Penderyn Distillery or The Welsh Whisky Company. I try to maintain as much objectivity as I can but feel free to take my reviews with as big a pinch of salt as you like. Furthermore, my rating scale is NOT based on a Parker type wine scoring scale or a school/college/university % or A-F grade score. You can find more on my scoring here. I apologise for any seemly low or 'bad' scores given with my system and I am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and I am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.

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