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Balblair 1989

Good, but too expensive

0 471

@markjedi1Review by @markjedi1

26th Feb 2010


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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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.

Related Balblair reviews


talexander commented

I picked up this bottle at a pretty high price (around $140CDN) - your review makes me wonder about the wisdom of my purchase! So we shall see how it performs...

8 years ago 0

GregLogan commented

I picked up a bottle at $62US from Whiskey Shop in the UK (Neil Jamison went to bat for me on a quite a load including help on the shipping). I will be comparing with the Balblair 1991 which I enjoy a great deal - a little sweeter and less woody but of equal quality to the Tally 18 and the HP 18 as far as this novitiate can tell.

8 years ago 0

GregLogan commented

As a revision to my above comment. I have agree with Mark re: the 1989 being a little boring - and with further review have become slightly disenchanted with the 1991. A little "malty" (that is the best word this newbie has available at present). Regardless, the Whiskey Shop still gave me a great deal to do my research with!

I will be trying the 1997 shortly and providing feedback there.

7 years ago 0

markjedi1 commented

Looking forward to that, Greg. I have not tried the 1997 myself.

7 years ago 0

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