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Ballantines Finest

TIFF Is Almost Over, Mr. Ballantine

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@talexanderReview by @talexander

16th Sep 2012


Ballantines Finest
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Some of you know how much I rave about Ballantine's 17 Year Old, so today, looking for a decent inexpensive Scotch to help me see the end of TIFF with, I picked up their standard expression. A couple of months ago I had some with my dad, and it was better than I had remembered from my younger days. So now I get the chance to review it. Apparently, Ballantine's is relatively hard to find in the UK (which is rather shocking to me), and is also blended with over 40 different malts and grains.

The colour is golden with yellow highlights. The nose is surprisingly complex - barley, lime, apple, vanila and the softest hint of smoke. Water brings out more grainy cereal notes, like grist.

In the mouth, creamy, floral, light but with continuing complexity. More vanilla, some oak and slightly spicy (cloves and nutmeg?) as well as sweet. That hint of smoke again. Even creamier on the palate with water, adding slight hints of milk chocolate.

The finish is rather short but not in a bad way - gentle and soft with that hint of smoke carrying through. I think this is much better than it gets credit for. There is more complexity here than one would expect from a standard blend, but it could definitely use a little more heft. It is very Speysidey (apparently, two Speyside malts that are used and Miltonduff and Glenburgie, which is Ballantine's spiritual home), but malts from all over Scotland are used. It is a little too light and floral for me to call it a big favourite, but it's complexity and drinkability are impressive. You can't go wrong with this.

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paddockjudge commented

Nice review...Happy Ballantines Day!

11 years ago 0

theMymic commented

Nice review thanks for the input, it won Jim Murray's non age statement blended scotch of the year 2013 and its a cheapy so you're not going far wrong in buying this one.

11 years ago 0

JohnnyNorfolk commented

This whisky is designed to appeal to the masses that it does so well. So the taste will always be light and it should not be critisised for this in my opinion. It does what it does better than most.I thing this is a great whisky in its class if not the best Its almost as good as BNJ.

10 years ago 0