As the late Rosemary Clooney sang:
Come on-a my house, my house, I'm gonna give you candy Come on-a my house, my house, I'm gonna give a you Apple a plum and apricot-a too eh Come on-a my house, my house I'm gonna give a you Figs and dates and grapes and cakes…
That’s virtually a review of Balblair 2000, nearly 50 years before its time. This is one of the fruitiest whiskies I’ve tasted – and I think those fruits spent some serious time in the local candy and ice cream shops to boot.
I can readily understand why many refer to this as a summertime dram, as it’s quite light, refreshing, and not too demanding. It’s impressively complex in its lightness, but its many layers are tissue-paper thin, and it tastes even younger than its mere 10 years. Pleasant stuff, but it won’t knock your argyles off.
Nose: Why does this whisky bring to mind corny old songs? A good whiff, and I’m humming “Put de lime in de coconut and drink ‘em bot’ up…”. Citrus, coconut, honey, vanilla, pineapple, melon, banana, loads of malt, and yes, apple-a plum and apricot-a too. I think Carmen Miranda lost her hat in my Glencairn.
Palate: Pretty much everything that’s on the nose, with more emphasis now on the malt, vanilla, and citrus fruits. Some weak tea, cinnamon, and touches of dark chocolate as it develops. The finish is slightly disappointing, in that it’s suddenly bitter and chalky, but it’s fairly long-lasting and plenty of the fruit bouquet remains.
Balblair 2000 is just not substantial enough for me to award it the highest marks, but it’s very much a fun whisky (and I’ve never described a whisky as “fun” before). For all its many layers, there’s not much body to it, but that may be the point. Sweet, easygoing, and very reasonably priced, it’s the Grandma’s lemonade of whiskies.