Distillery: Balvenie Score: 7
Expression: 10 yo Date:
Nose: Definite aroma of honey and sweetness, but not much else. The honey is really evident after a few minutes when it opens up well.
Palate: Slightly tingly and sweet but short. The sweetness is followed by some spiciness.
Finish: Short and very sweet almost like syrup
Comments: Fair and thats all. I wanted to like it more, and it is a fine example of a sweet malt, but it is dominated by honey sweeteness that dulls the balance. I am a minority of one apparently.
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If my choice is between several drams at a similar price point such as Aberlour 10yr, Glenfiddich 12yr, Glenlivet 12yr or the 10yr old Balvinnie, I'd know in a heartbeat what I'd take.
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Frodo wrote:If my choice is between several drams at a similar price point such as Aberlour 10yr, Glenfiddich 12yr, Glenlivet 12yr or the 10yr old Balvinnie, I'd know in a heartbeat what I'd take.
You have a point here however for a little more money what would you prefer?
Laphroaig 10yo is going for $29.99 USD... it's not my favorite but for the price it's the best I've had followed by $42.99 Ardbeg 10yo and $49.99 Clynelish 14yo.
I would love any more recommendations in this price range
Your point about the 10yr Laphroig is well taken (C$50 at the LCBO) but I just can't get into this one. Too medicinal for me. BTW at this price point, I'd recommend the Dun Bheagan 8yr old Islay. I'm not so sure what's in it although I've heard Laga or Bowmore. At your other price point, I'm not sure what I can add. I do like Ardbeg 10 and respect Clynelish. Although I'm not usually a big fan of sherried malts, I'm chewing over buying a bottle of Auchantoshan Tripplewood. I like having two open bottles of dissimilar malts that can offer comtrast. I only have one sherried malt at home, so I'm thinking about it. Lucky me, the LCBO has that tasting tower...
islayjunkie wrote:I would love any more recommendations in this price range
To be honest, at the C$40 mark, I usually buy Irish (Redbrest or Jameson 12) or Bourbon - say, Elmer T. Lee, or Woodford Reserve.
I guess if it came down to Scotch for about C$45, I'd buy either Dun Bheagan 8yr Islay, Balvinnie 10yr or Glenmorangie 10yr. I would recommend JW Black to others, but I just can't get into it. Not because it's a blend, but it's flavour profile is just not as... beligerent (for lack of a better word) as I would like.
you are probably right when you say that after reading all the good comments you were expecting heaven.
It is true that some writings and hearsay tend to be quite glowing, and I can understand you going in with some sort of "special" expectation.
I think one of the problems for Balvenie is that it comes from the same stable as Glenfiddich. There's a mentality out there that goes something along the lines of, "Well, we know Glenfiddich is produced for the masses, but you ought to try Balvenie.....that's where they really try to make good whisky".
I tried the 15yo single barrel recently, and I couldn't help but think, yes, here's another good speysider. But it didn't make the earth move.
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I must say, overall, that speysiders have difficulting making their way onto my whisky shelves. I have one Craigellachie at the moment and a Macduff (Glen Deveron) that may or may not be considered speyside or east highland. That's it for the spey valley for me. I know some consider the spey valley brighter than the midlands but not me.
On a related issue, the Balvenie website is now offering members 10cl samples from a specially selected cask for £10 (I'm not sure whether they ship abroad). The first 100 samples are from a first fill bourbon, just under 14yo, but they'll pick another cask when they sell out. Personally, I think this is a very good idea which other disilleries should take note of. It just helps us learn more about individual distilleries without having to spend too much.
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