I think it is a really fine whisky, but the otherwise thoroughly enjoyable Balvenie charachter was drowned in the tar-like & smoky finish. The nose promised more than what it delivered, and I miss the fruity, slightly honeyed Balvenie charachter. The finish was very Islay and powerful.
Since I adore Islay whiskies, and The Balvenie is one of my absolute Highland faves (the Doublewood is one of the top 5 from this region I have ever tasted) I think The Balvenie Islay cask gives me a rather confused impression as if it cannot decide whether it's a Highland or an Islay. However, since the smokiness, dryness & peatiness is, IMO, almost overwheklming (ion the finish at least) why not spend your money on one of the Islay distilleries whiskies?
Since I have just opened the bottle and had one taste, I may be to harsh. But what do you fellow whisky-enthusiasts think of this whisky?
Im conclusion, I find it daring & a breath of fresh air that distilleries try some unorthodox methods, srtrayting away from the sometimes overtly conservative stance held by, as far as I know, quite a few distilleries (The 21 year-old Glenfiddich havana comes to mind). But is it really necessary?
Ian: Re the Balvenie/Swan thing, it was Bruce Crichton - apologies to you both (that'll teach me to check in future!). To strain the metaphor, putting a port finish on Balvenie is more like putting a sack over a swan's head in my view. The only port finish I would actually say I like rather than just find tolerable is the Glenmorangie one. But it'd be a boring old world if we all liked the same thing <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
OK folks, I must say I just love ALL of the Balvenies in their core range. Call it a love affair.
Having said that, it's one of the many marvellous things about malt whisky, if one woman does not appeal to you, it may be the love of my life.
BTW, how may bottles in just 94 casks.....
It bodes well in future dramming.
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