This very nice Balblair 1997 was only the third ever whisky I reviewed here on Words of Whisky. Since then I’ve only reviewed one other expression from Balblair. Which is somewhat strange, because I’m actually quite fond of Balblair.
Whatever the reason, I’m now finally ready to review a Balblair again, this time the Balblair 1999 1st Release, which was released in 2014 as a Travel Retail exclusive. It’s a vatting of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks, and judging from the taste, the percentage of the latter is fairly generous.
Balblair 1999 1st Release (46%, OB Travel Retail, 2014)
Nose: A mixture of milk chocolate, mild raisins and figs with some more fresh, almost tropical fruits like oranges and nectarine. Slightly flowery.
Taste: The mouthfeel is a little thinner than I’d like. Mocha, coffee, fudge and slightly woody too. Some cinnamon and earl gray, combined with red apple and lemon peel.
Finish: Some soft tannins and vanilla with a thin layer of orchard fruits. Medium in length.
It’s a bit of an in-betweener. Not exactly a light summer dram, but far from a dark and heavy winter whisky too. Nicely balanced.