It’s hard to resist the exclusive distillery bottlings where you are actually visiting the distillery. Trust me, been there more than my wallet cares to remember. But this one was filled by my Dutch buddy Marcel and he was so gracious as to send me a sample. This Balblair matured for 12 years. It’s a single cask at cask strength, something you do not see often from this Highland distillery.
Summery nose on quince, apples and truckload of vanilla. Hint of sultanas and some litchi. But also sniffing tobacco and… papier-maché. That’s a first. Hint of liquorice, like the well-known crayons from Holland, with the white sugar coating. Pleasant, but nothing more.
The arrival is surprisingly soft, I have to say. Grape juice, icing sugar, lime, grapefruit, apples and again a huge dose of vanilla. But it turns quite bitter very fast. The grapefruit turns into quinine into tannins. Not much else, I’m afraid, which leaves something to be desired.
The medium long finish offers nothing new.
To be honest, I expected more from this. This is a regular Balblair with just some more alcohol. Thanks nonetheless, Marcel!