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Balvenie 12 Year Old Signature

Bittery Surpise - batch #5

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@cheeserandyburgReview by @cheeserandyburg

29th Oct 2013


Balvenie 12 Year Old Signature
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

This review is for batch #5.

Nose: Right off the bat we get strong floral notes with hints of green apple, orange marmalade and an overall fruitful punch. Sherry is coming through and the longer I sit and nose this beauty I'm getting a touch of honey and leather now. Definitely could keep my nose in this for awhile. Sweetness and sugary notes are apparent now. It's opening up quite nicely.

Palate: It's what happens when we go from the nose to the tasting that the nose we were "hoping" for is absent. Instead, we're greeted with bitter wood. No honey in sight. The wood continues throughout. In addition, I'm getting quite a a bit of char. Make that lots of char with herbal notes. It's not unpleasant, but not something I'm used too or that keen on. On second pour, its apparent the purpose of this whisky is to be quite dry which it successfully accomplishes. *Avoid adding water. It's bottled at 40% and adding water only enhances the bitter/sour notes.

Finish: Dry, sour, and woody. Not sure what else we can find lurking here. On second pour I'm getting a long bitter finish with hints of spice and pepper, glazed with old dried out lemon (sour). Besides that - not much.

Conclusion: Not exactly what I was expecting, but after tasting it myself and seeing what others have said on the net, it seems to be a quite well known fact that this is a whisky that is purposely bitter, sour, dry and overall quite woody/oaky. It's been aged in sherry butts, and two times in bourbon barrels; naturally I was expecting much more sweetness, but unfortunately that wasn't the case. Overall, not a bad whisky, but not something I'd remember for long. On second thought, since its so different from what I'm used too, this could potentially grow on me. Lets wait a couple of months before returning to it and see how it opens up.

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cheeserandyburg commented

What a great surprise. After opening this bottle last night I returned to it today, poured myself a generous amount and let it sit. They key word here is "sit". I left it covered on the table for approximately 15-20 minutes before returning to it and was greeted with an entirely different arrival. Subtle honey and sweetness is apparent now. This is a gentle whisky that doesn't like to be rushed. It benefits from a long wait before diving into. I'm quite pleased with this. So woody and full of oak tones through out. I'm really enjoying this one at the moment!

10 years ago 0

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