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A single first fill bourbon-barreled 12 year old expression from Balvenie today. As is usually the case with single barrel whiskies, this one might not taste quite the same as yours. But Balvenie has a reputation for keeping its quality high, so let’s hope you enjoy yours as much as I’m enjoying mine.
Nose: Bright and fruity, almost tropical character. Banana, pineapple, apples, coconut, honey, vanilla, woodspice, and oak. Crisp and clear.
Palate: Tangy and tingly on arrival. Fizzy, even. Honey, vanilla, heather, pineapple, peanuts, lemon lozenges, and lemon tarts.
Finish: Medium in length. Banana sundae here. Bananas and vanilla ice cream sprinkled with nuts and drizzled with honey. White chocolate, lemon candy, oak, faint mustard, white pepper.
Thoughts: Are we in the highlands here? It’s not breaking any new ground, but it’s well made. Classic bourbon-cask flavours with a solid abv, a clean delivery, and a nice balance. Even more importantly for me, this has some bite to it. A tingly, prickly woodspice greets us on arrival and lasts well into the finish. Possibly too oaky for some, I find the spicy dryness works nicely with the core flavours of honey, vanilla, and pineapple. That added kick gives an edge to what’s already a lovely bourbon-casked character. I like this a lot. Recommended.