It is the first time a Balblair Vintage has enjoyed a second release but with a distinctly different liquid style from the original; whereas the first release was laid down in Spanish oak ex-sherry casks, the second release is aged in American oak, ex-sherry casks. The first release of the super-premium single malt was matured in Spanish sherry oak barrels whereas the second release is aged in American oak ex-sherry casks. The vintage is fresh, yet full- bodied with a rich color and displays aromas of citrus fruits, vanilla, toffee and coconut. The American oak, ex-sherry casks used in maturation impart a rich and sweet vanilla flavor. On the palate it is sweet and spicy; fresh fruits and honey combined with a slightly oaky note to create a long warming finish. It bottles at 46 percent ABV.
Specially packaged in a display box, the deep amber bottle features ancient symbols that reflect Clach Biorach, the sacred stone overlooking the Balblair Distillery. The symbols signify Balblair's inspiration and convey the statement "ageless in a time of change." Carrying the theme "Vintages Timed to Perfection," Balblair's previous U.S. releases include 1989, 1991, 1997 and 2000. Balblair is the only single malt exclusively released in vintages.
John MacDonald, Balblair's Distillery Manager, handpicks each vintage and only releases them when they're at the peak of their perfection. "This is a singular vintage and the rarest we have yet released to the United States," said MacDonald. "Like all of our vintages, the second release of the1975 Vintage takes the essence of a moment in time - the year it was put in the cask to mature - and captures it in a bottle."
Taking a traditional approach, the Balblair warehouses are Dunnage style with earthen floors, thick stone walls, concrete passage-ways and low roofs. The casks are stacked only three high and temperature and humidity are constant from January to December. This method gives each vintage an even maturation.
The award-winning portfolio recently received a Gold Medal from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and Beverage Testing Institute for its 1989 and 2000 vintages. Limited quantities of second vintage release of Balblair 1975 will be available at select fine retailers and venues this August. It sells for a suggested retail price of $365.
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