I am starting to believe that Inver House changed more than the packaging when they did their revamp of the Old Pulteney and Balblair ranges recently.
I’ve really liked the Balblair range I had tried so far, and I was a fan of the vintages, although I can understand why they would swap to age statements. Still, the stuff still has age statements and is still at 46%, so how bad could it be?
Balblair 12 46%
Colour: Light Gold
Nose: Cheesy? What? Some spice, some oak, a little of that hessian character, dry nose, not hugely complex either. Very little of what I enjoyed about Balblair in the past…
Taste: More Balblair here thankfully, soft arrival, spicy and oaky actually, ginger, shortbread. Tastes older than 12 years with the amount of oak but, again, doesn’t have the complexity.
Finish: Medium/Long length. Kinda harsh, oak and spice, rubber?
Well below par from Balblair.
Balblair 15 46%
Colour: Light Amber
Nose: Much better. Sherry, light raisin, honey, orange + peel, milky coffee, stewed cherries and a very light earthiness. Sweet nose.
Taste: Dry arrival with a little harsh spice up front then creamy with vanilla, dry oak then taking over, then more juicy, develops well. Raisin, chocolate, some hessian and bright cherry at the end.
Finish: Medium length. more cherry, some orange, fruity and juicy here.
I think this is a Sherry finish rather than fully matured. Much better than the 12, though I think I would still be disappointed if I was buying a bottle.
Thanks for reading!
Scotch reviews #772-#773
Whisky Network Reviews #917-#918
Network Average: 75.1
Best Score: 94
Worst Score: 12
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
75-79 Very Good
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.