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Ballantines 12 Year Old

Werther's originals and Ricola

581

@cricklewoodReview by @cricklewood

27th Jan 2016

0

Ballantines 12 Year Old
  • Nose
    20
  • Taste
    22
  • Finish
    19
  • Balance
    20
  • Overall
    81

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

This whisky was another weeknight surprise session on the same night I tasted Glendronach 8

A few weeks back I got a taste of Ballantyne's 17 & it was a pretty great dram (I didn't take any notes). I was not expecting the maturity and presence that whisky had, there was a well balanced, fruity and herbal side and a well integrated peat/smoke glow. Very old school made me think of gentlemen's clubs, leather arm chairs, harris tweed blazers and a fireplace...ok maybe some cigars.

This bottling seems to have a completely different lineage and I believe it is more based on american oak barrels from what I can gather and the color (but who knows as these blenders love their E150).

Nose: Lemon meringue pie, Werther's originals, nutty vanilla and lemongrass. It has a nice malty presence, no intense grain notes like some blends

Palate: The taste flips from fruity to toffee and then from lemon to slight peat edge. Shortbread, five-alive citrus. Dried ginger, slightly herbal (Ricola), the toffee doesn't linger. There is a nice smoky/peaty touch (so slight but it's there)

The finish is brief, creamy a bit, the texture was fairly coating in the glass for a blend. With a higher ABV this would sing. A well balance blended Scotch, the slight smokey touch and light herbal side is the only thing in common with the 17 I would say.

I like this blend, very drinkable and priced a bit cheaper than JW black in my neck of the woods (which is one of my favourite blends). Not sure I would keep one of these around but it's a nice change of pace.

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5 comments

@Jules
Jules commented

LOL @ your title... not sure the rather merry combo of Werther's & Ricola is my idea of a proper drink, though ;-D

10 months ago

@cricklewood
cricklewood commented

@Jules Thanks, trying to keep things light. The dominant flavours we're really the toffee, juicy citrus and slight smoke/peat.

10 months ago

@Jules
Jules commented

No, no - I got the intention of it :-) Most blends just fail to capture my imagination. Or should that be 'my taste buds'...?

10 months ago

@cricklewood
cricklewood commented

@Jules I hear you, it doesn't help that there are so many dull or uninspired blends. I tend to judge blends a little differently in that regard. I don't look for the same singular flavors or eureka moment than in drinking single malts.

I believe if they upped the ABV and we're a bit more daring it would really help their cause. A good example is Cutty Sark Prohibition or some of the Compass Box stuff.

10 months ago

@Jules
Jules commented

Yes, most blends just don't 'jump out' enough, too little character for me. I want something memorable when I sit down withmy evening dram, and Blends just don't give me that. Compass Box might be the exception although I have never bought, just tasted. Their latest Flaming Heart is prob the best blend I have come across, but then they use only single malts... ie. no grain whiskey mixed in.

10 months ago