Origin: Speyside (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing barrel: Ex-Bourbon and ex-Rum
Added coloring: Yes
Owner: William Grant & Sons
Average price: € 71.00
Official website: www.thebalvenie.com/
Let’s add another distillery to our blog, one that I admit to approach for the first time.
Founded in the late 1800s, The Balvenie was William Grant’s second purchase after Glenfiddich, to which it is close, and takes its name from the neoclassical mansion that stood on the land where it was built (although it was originally called Glen Gordon).
In 1990 another distillery, Kininvie, was founded on the same land, which in turn absorbed an old distillery, Convalmore, acquired in 1992.
Unlike many of its contemporaries, it has never closed down production during its lifetime.
A special feature of The Balviene is the use of its own malting floor, which covers about 15% of the distillery’s needs, and the presence of local craftsmen who maintain the stills and casks for this and the other distilleries in the group.
It should not be forgotten that the presence of a distillery means work (and ancillary activities) for areas that are often poor in other activities, where the local economy is almost entirely based on whisky and everything that goes with it, including accommodation and welcome centres: a real asset for Scotland.
The Balvenie only produces unpeated whiskies (an annual special edition is an exception), unfortunately in this case chillfiltered and, alas, with caramel coloring: a warm amber colour, therefore, completely false.
The nose is immediately sweet and caramelised, very enveloping, with cooked apple, vanilla galore, brown sugar (well, there’s Rum, easy!) and white chocolate. It doesn’t give you diabetes just by smelling it, but it’s nice and cuddly.
The risk of being too sweet is also averted on the palate, with a sprinkling of spices and wood that stops the sugary wave of flavours before it overwhelms everything, bringing with it a certain underlying dryness. At times almost vinous, chocolate returns accompanied by candied orange, yellow fruit, more cane, sultanas: the influence of Rum is not as clear-cut as you might think (or is it just me who doesn’t know a damn thing about Rum, in fact).
The finish is medium-long, dry (almost astringent), of spices, vanilla, sultanas and baked apple.
A sweet but not cloying whisky, and this is undoubtedly a merit, not particularly complex or layered (the dryness on the palate and on the finish is technically a bit meh) but pleasant, more perhaps to accompany a dessert than to drink alone.
But we can drink it on its own, without telling anyone though.
The Scotch Noob