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The Bailie Nicol Jarvie is a character in Rob Roy, a novel by Sir Walter Scott. The whisky is blended by Glenmorangie, and claimed to be believed to have the highest percentage of malt contained in a blended Scotch. Estimates are at 60% malt. I had read and heard about BNJ for some time without being able to get a taste here in the US, since it is not distributed here. It is clearly very well loved in the UK, "for a blend", and it is by all accounts heavy on the citrus flavours. I had been somewhat 'heavy-citrus-averse', so I thought it good to try a very citrus-forward whisky which was well-liked and popular. A bottle was finally hand carried to me from the UK. The reviewed bottle was opened November 22, 2012, US Thanksgiving Day, and now only 20% remains. The whisky is 8 years old
Nose: citrus, vanilla, apples, malt, salt,and a little peat. Well balanced between sweet and dry
Palate: a boatload of sweet and tart barley lemon-citrus, salt, nice malt, sweet peat, and some grape-wine flavours mostly in the background. Sparkling, sharp, refreshing, bracing
Finish: this retains all of the intense citrus, while finishing on sweet peat combined with brine and a hint of wine
Balance: this is a very enjoyable blend. At our Thanksgiving dinner we had about 6 whisky drinkers try both the Bailie Nicole Jarvie and the Talisker 57 Degrees North. About half preferred each choice to the other. This is citrus-forward whisky that is extremely easy-drinking and easy to enjoy. The flavours are very bright and engaging. I am a big fan, and look forward to getting more. A bottle of BNJ goes fast, though, because it is so easy to drink.
Among blends, this would rate for me a 93. Among all whiskies an 89.