Blind Tasting Competition #11: Balblair 1990 2nd Release
The Blind Tasting Competition of the Usquebaugh Society is getting harder and harder. At the start I was lucky to encounter samples of Benromach, Ledaig, Littlemill and Bowmore Devil’s Casks II, all distilleries that for me have very distinct flavor profiles. The last couple of samples have been different, and I don’t think that in the remainder of the competition there will be many more slam dunks for me. Let’s have a look at sample 11, shall we?
Balblair 1990/2013 (46%, OB, 2nd Release)
Nose: This one starts of fruity, with oranges, peaches and plums. But then it becomes more woody, and also a bit herbal after some time. Caramel appears as well.
Taste: Warming palate. A bit salty and a hint of pepper, but then some lovely tropical fruit. As the nose suggests, a bit oaky. But the nice caramel and honey tones bring back the balance.
Finish: Some chocolate, honey and caramel. But after a couple of minutes it gets fruitier. Very pleasant.
A nice whisky indeed. It does lack a little bit of power. I had a difficult time deciding what whisky to put my money on. I decided on the Highlands pretty early on, also because Speyside was out of the question, because of yesterday’s Balmenach. The alcoholpercentage of 46 percent also was clear. But I thought I was tasting a much younger whisky. In the end I went with one of the Northern distilleries, a Glenmorangie 12yo.
I never really considered Balblair, because I don’t associate Balblair with sherry matured whisky. Still I scored forty points because of the correct region and abv. I’m still in second place in the Blind Tasting Competition, only one point behind the leader.
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.