Color: Amber gold
Nose: Oak, honey, spiced apples, leathery Bourbon note, stone fruit aromas(peaches, cherries), along with carnations and honeysuckle
Palate: Everything from the nose in the same order with the spice dominating
Body: Initial leeching dryness, then firm
Finish: Oak takes over here to interesting effect
Notes: Balvenie bottlings are notorious for needing a week or two to breathe so I'll save some room for revision. Now it's semi-dry with just a little noticeable Madeira influence over the standard Balvenie spices. Very different from the Rum Cask from last year, but about the same great quality level. It reminds me of the New Oak from a couple years ago. These 17's are always interesting but not exceptional and hardly worth two 15yo Single Barrel if you ask me.
With a splash of water: pure floral explosion with spiced tea flavors.
pkt77242 wrote:Nice notes, but I thought you were done buying the Balvenie 17's.
One and done this time. I had been buying one to drink and one to hold onto for awhile. The price is getting increasingly hard to justify. I probably would not have bought the one, but I got a great deal on some Ardbeg 10 that day that basically made it a freebee, so...
New Oak is one of my favorite whiskies, and the Rum Cask is fantastic. Had an impromptu "tasting" with a friend the other day and the Rum Cask and Glenfarclas 25 carried the day, and there were a lot of great whiskies in the mix, such as a 40yo Bowmore, a Blaire Athol, and a couple of great Black Adders (there was an excellent Black Adder HP).
The 15yos are always an adventure. If you get one of the REALLY good ones, they are way better than what a 15yo would warrant.
I agree on the 17 New Oak. I managed to stash 2 bottles of it before it ran out!
How do you judge a "better" 15 than the others? Do you just look for those in the 17-18 yr range or are there other particulars to look for?
The only way to know with a 15yo is to taste it. I really like finding the 17-18yo bottles, or if you are lucky like Sir Dino the 20+yo bottles... but I have one that is just a hair over 15yo and it is fantastic!
Nose: Honey, apricot, and a madeira aroma
Palate: Honey and oak (a solid Balvenie start), coupled with dark wine flavors from the Madeira - specifically dark berries, such as cherry and raspberry, as well as apricot and peaches. Very fruity, but more of a dry sweetness - probably influenced by the oak.
Finish: Oak (again, true to Balvenie form) is the dominate finishing note. But I agree with jimidrammer - it is a different oak finish. The wine lingers into the oak flavor.
I do really like this, but I think I like the Rum Cask more. Different types of sweetness between the two, and both are good. For the casual Balvenie fan, I think this deserves at least one bottle, with two bottles for the Rum Cask.
Somewhat on topic, I need a Balvenie 17 Madeira tube. I think I may be able to source one locally, but if anyone has a tube they don't want and can ship it my way (for a US distributed bottle, btw... 43% ABV), please PM me. Much appreciated.
Unlike the younger Balvenies, the fruits on this one seem a bit over-ripe, rather than fresh. It also seems like there's a bit of chocolate.
What really stood out to me, and what I wanted to check with you folks on...this Balvenie immediately reminded me of Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban. Anybody else have experience with both and notice that same connection?
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