Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Malt Mission 2008 #299

Balvenie
Balvenie Port Wood 21yo
Speyside Single Malt Whisky
40%

£69

$130 (USD)

I have featured this drop on Dr. Whisky way back in March 2007 (here) but not as part of the malt mission proper so here it is, immediately following its younger brother (see Malt Mission #298).

This time I also tasted it under much more controlled conditions in the Robbie Dhu centre at the Glenfiddich Distillery with Balvenie Global Brand Ambassador David Mair, a true Dufftown boy with an honest and unpolluted passion for The Balvenie. We did a lot of "work" that afternoon and I will share more notes from that research session over the next few posts, if possible.

This expression was initially launched in 1999 as part of the standard range and has been critically acclaimed ever since winning accolades from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition to the Spirit of Speyside Festival. In fact, Balvenie made history when in 2006 it won Gold Medals for it's entire core range of whiskies (save the Single Barrel 15yo) at the International Spirits Challenge, the biggest single distillery award haul in the competition's history.

For all Balvenies had on the mission, click HERE.

TASTING NOTES:

Fruity and creamy, like orange creamsicles. Raisin sweetness and brazil nut dryness. A distinct mustiness in the background verifies the age.

Honeyed and creamy with a big, rich flavour impact; but somehow gentle, like a pillowfight or Jello wrestling. Spicy, too, pepper and a bit of chinese 5-spice or something. Deep and complex. Long creamy finish with nutty oakiness and, i dunno... hard to explain; not a flavour but a feeling...very exciting, like gently touching the inside lip of someone you love (or lust) with your tongue. Warming and sensual. Each sip an experience that is happily repeated.

SUMMARY:

A Balvenie that is totally worth taking the plunge for the price jump, especially when you look around the whisky world and see other speyside distillers (Macallan?!?) charging almost double for their 21yo. Totally dig this sip after sensual sip. Ideal for after dinner-date dramming or even alone in the wee hours as a masterbatory malt. Could be my mood and present circumstances. Yours, Randy.

Malt Mission #296
Malt Mission #297
Malt Mission #298
Malt Mission #300

Malt Mission HOME

2 comments:

orangedog said...

and here I thought the Balvenie commentary would go away - we're getting the pre-commencement/pre-"Balvenie Bloke" surge I suppose - great summary on the 21 YO old, I'd say I agree completely.

Will said...

Yep - I tried this at WhiskyFest Chicago, and thought it was the star of the show. Beautiful drink.

-Will