Day 19 was a Bowmore 12 so I skipped that one as I've reviewed it before (and being one of Pam's favourites, I'm extremely familiar with that dram - I do really like it!) But today, we have another Balblair, this time one of the newer age statement expressions. The 18 Year Old is matured primarily in American oak ex-bourbon casks, then finished in first-fill Spanish oak butts. Still non-coloured and non-chill-filtered.
The colour is a medium amber. On the nose it's sultana raisins, milk chocolate, caramel and lots of oak. Leathery. Apple cinnamon. Herbal with water. Nicely sherried, not too bold.
On the palate the caramel is much heavier, with some chili spice, cloves, lots of ginger and chocolate orange. Mouth-coating. Earthy. Sulphurous. Like the nose, it's also more herbal with water. Whereas the sherry on the nose was supple, on the palate it is overwhelming. Complex but not my style.
The finish is aromatic spices, heavy oak and a bit more sulphur. This is completely different from the Balblair 1997 I reviewed 10 days ago (and scored a 93). Here in the 18 the malt has been stomped in the teeth by the sherry, and not a well-behaved sherry at that. Disappointing.