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Balblair is one of the oldest operational distilleries in the Highlands, a little to the north of Inverness. It was founded in 1790. After having been handed over several times, the range underwent a complete overhaul in February 2007. There are now three official expressions: the 1979, the 1989 and the 1997 (not counting the duty free expressions).
The looks of the bottles is completely different and quite daring for whisky. The gift boxes don't look like much in my opinion, but obviously that has nothing to do with the taste. As far as I was able to find out, there were only 30 casks made for the 1989.
The nose is fruity, but rather boring. I smell primarily fresh green apples and pear. It's even a little metallic. I'm not impressed.
On the palate, it opens up a little. Quite sweet with peach and chocolate, lightly spiced.
That spiciness continues on in the finish, supported by some vanilla from the American oak.
This isn't an earth shattering dram, while good, but somewhat dissappointing for the price tag attached to it: about 45 pounds. Good, but too expensive.