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Ballantines Finest

Too Little Harmony

0 974

@VictorReview by @Victor

21st Dec 2011

0

  • Nose
    20
  • Taste
    19
  • Finish
    18
  • Balance
    17
  • Overall
    74

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Nose: a little floral, chocolate-y with coffee, some lemon citrus, and some nutty flavours. There is also moderate smoke and peat, a little in the background. This really doesn't come together for me as a harmonious whole. A nice balance of sweet and dry, though.

Taste: this is sweeter in the mouth than in the nose. All of the flavours from the nose translate effectively onto the palate. These flavours just don't work well together for me, though.

Finish: the finish is long and becomes sweeter with time. Licorice becomes very prominent through the finish.

Balance: I really don't enjoy this whisky much at all. I had high hopes for it, and it is quite flavourful, but for me this just doesn't harmonise in a way that I enjoy.

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9 comments

@talexander
talexander commented

The last time I had the standard Ballantine's expression was at a pathetic poker game wherein I lost my shirt, about fifteen years ago - so my memory is hazy. But I have been meaning to try it again. And I certainly hope this doesn't deter you from trying Ballantine's 17, which is sublime.

7 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

I hope to try Ballantine's 17 soon...very soon!

7 years ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

Hmmmm....perhaps I shall bring it the next time you are in Toronto.......hmmmmmmmmm..........

7 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@talexander, Yes, you are reading my meaning correctly...

7 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

Reflection and retaste on Ballantine's Finest: what I didn't care for was a lack of balance among the flavours. Specifically, my reviewed bottle has a flavour which I didn't identify in the review of anise/black licorice, probably from the peat, but I am not entirely sure of that, which is so prominent that it takes the stage and crowds out the other flavours for me. That is what I don't like here. I am curious to try other bottles to see whether they are similar to mine.

@talexander, yes, it is well established now that Dramlette and I are both big fans of Ballantine's 17 yo whisky. Come to think of it, we didn't get any of it when we were last in Toronto, LAST WEEK. Did you run out? Or was it protected stock?

6 years ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

I have about one more dram left in my bottle - I've been buying it as it was on sale at the LCBO location at Manulife, but I've been drinking it as fast as I was buying it....

No, I would not protect this one! I love to share it. But I forgot about it given the variety we had on offer!

I agree with the lack of balance on Ballantine's Finest - but nevertheless it has become my standard dram.

T

6 years ago 0

@JohnnyNorfolk
JohnnyNorfolk commented

This is one of the best whiskys in its class. Do not underate it. Its not such a big sellar for nothing.Far far better than JW.in my opinion.

6 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@JohnnyNorfolk, thank you for your comments. Taste is a peculiar thing, and certainly individual. I used to strongly dislike Ballantine's Finest, because I just did not like strong licorice flavours in my whisky. In fact, my tolerance and capacity to enjoy strong black licorice in whisky has evolved over quite a few years to the point that I can and do in fact enjoy it now whereas before it just tasted bad to me. At present, I would say my rating for Ballantine's Finest would be more like 80 than the 74 from this review. Despite enjoying it much more now, I still consider it to be unbalanced. As for underrating it, do note that my original score of 74 is just about on mark with the current average ratings for this whisky on Connosr of 75. So, you could say, I used to like it similarly to the average of the group, and now I like Ballantine's Finest more than does the average of the group, though, apparently I still enjoy this particular whisky less than you do. By the way, I have absolutely nothing against the category of blended Scotch, per se, and think that malt snobbery is mostly the product of ignorance and narrow-mindedness.

6 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

Having some Ballantine's Finest now from this same reviewed bottle. 6 1/2 years later I Iike this now the best I have liked it to date. It has mellowed out, softened, and the flavours have blended together, so I don't see the contrast which previously I had perceived as very out of balance. Today I would rate the taste from this bottle at 86 points. So I guess that all I have to do to like it if I some day buy another bottle of Ballantine's Finest is to open it and let it sit for 6 years.

about one year ago 2Who liked this?

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