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Balblair Distillery Cadenhead's Highlands Region Independent Bottlers Scotland

Cadenhead’s Balblair 8yo Small Batch

Review of a small batch in Sherry from the Highlands Distillery, Balblair, according to Cadenhead's.

Origin: Highlands (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Gradation: 57.8%ABV
Ageing barrels: Ex-Sherry butt refill, finished in ex-Sherry hogshead
Chillfiltered: No
Additional Coloring: No
Owner: J& A Mitchell & Co Ltd.
Average price: € 65.00
Official website: www.cadenhead.scot
Vote: 88/100

We are introducing a series from the well-known bottler Cadenhead’s that has never before been touched upon, the Small Batch, which includes bottles made from the vatting of two or three casks (four at the most) bottled cask strength.

In this case we have a Balblair distilled in 2011 which after spending six years in an ex-Sherry puncheon was poured into two hoghshead casks also ex-Sherry for another two years, finally joined by bottling the cask strength whisky and, as always, completely natural.
It’s probable that the splitting was decided to impart different aromas to the spirit, perhaps far from the wishes of those who had chosen the cask: after all, that’s what finishes are for.

Gold with copper highlights in the glass.
A vinous attack on the nose, just like grape must, with that tart sweetness that titillates without overdoing it. Red fruits, wild strawberries and sultanas follow closely behind, with jammy tones to spread over the hints of pandolce that join the company. Iodine touches in the background with spicy caresses (cinnamon and a pinch of anise), a vague medicinal impression. The Sherry is there but is balanced and sly. Thin layer of propolis.
Almond paste with a whiff of chilli and ginger combined with red fruits, yellow peaches, unripe pears, sponge cake. More convincingly sherried but still with a certain decorum, alternating more sour and spicy tones (aniseed again, gingerbread, liquorice root) with sweet ones (chocolate, hazelnuts, brown sugar). Splinters of wood in the background, with just a hint of tobacco.
Quite long finish of hazelnuts, liquorice, ginger, yellow orange.

The choice of dividing the maturation in two casks proved to be a winning one, the influence of sherry is tamed and balanced as rarely happens, in a full and convincing whisky which, despite its youth, already knows how to surprise.

Other bottlings in the blog:
Balblair 10yo
Balblair 15yo
Balblair 18yo

More from Cadenhead’s in the blog:
Cadenhead’s Arran 22yo
Cadenhead’s Ben Nevis 21yo
Cadenhead’s Bowmore 17yo
Cadenhead’s Bruichladdich 22yo
Cadenhead’s Clynelish 17yo
Cadenhead’s Dalmore 18yo
Cadenhead’s Glen Grant-Glenlivet 20yo
Cadenhead’s Glen Scotia 27yo
Cadenhead’s Glenrothes 1997 20yo Small Batch
Cadenhead’s Ledaig 22yo
Cadenhead’s Rosebank 15yo

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