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Balvenie 14 Year Old Caribbean Cask

Fresh and Silvery

0 384

@vanPeltReview by @vanPelt

18th Jul 2013


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

First vapor: Sugarcane, on rose petals or slice of red apple.

Nose: Quite light. Sugarcane and under-ripe nectarine, then some unsalted butter intensifying with time. Overall clean and fresh, not spicy.

Palate: Sweet and metallic on entry. Ever-so-light buttery toffee, and then the sugarcane sparkles: saccharine but without the sweetness, perhaps like starfruit... or maybe silvery stardust.

Finish: Sugarcane again, only mildly sweet, with ginger and lime zest. Short and simple, but pleasant and with no disturbances. A surprising effect is that after a minute, you feel you are exhaling cocoa powder through your nose.

I like to keep a light malt around for a varied whisky experience. (Examples could be: Auchentoshan 18 or Select, or Glenfiddich 14/19/21, or Glenmorangie 10.) It suits to initiate the palate before an evening tasting, maybe even cleanse the palate in between heavier drams, and it finds utility during warm summer days. So while this is not my ultimate variety of malt, I compliment it for being very good for its purpose: clean refreshment with mild sweetness, and completely in balance.

The unique feature here is the rum finish, of course. I am surprised that there is so much of a "sugarcane" impression, since that raw material is so far back in the process. The sugarcane effect reminds me of putting a refined sugar packet in your mouth: before it dissolves and is still sitting as a dry powder, there is a glittering flavor without much sweetness.

Now I am inclined to try a bottle of the closely-related Golden Cask, for comparison.

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vanPelt commented

And thanks to @WhiskyBee for recommending this. His review recommends substantial breathing time, so I have allowed a small sealed sample breath for a couple weeks:

Nose2: Richer but still light. It has a touch more butter than before, now sitting on wheat bread. I can imagine this buttered bread slice has a very light honey on it-- However, I still find that sweet element closer to sugarcane than honey. Probing further, the fruit is now a red apple slice.

Palate2: Entry now has unsalted butter, but it remains metallic (and now less sweet). Midpalate is like the nose: unsalted butter on wheat bread and with the faintest light honey. Now sprinkle a tickle of black pepper and lime zest on that.

Finish2: Unfortunately I preferred it before, because that metallic note (rum?) hangs on, with some green lime. Still fairly light, but I think less balanced. (The earlier cocoa-exhale is now more like wheat bread.)

Perhaps I actually let it breath too much, because I actually prefer the fresh bottle. So perhaps there is a happy middle?

9 years ago 0

WhiskyBee commented

A very nice review, and thanks for the mention! I just got a new bottle of this, which I will probably open this weekend. I also have at least a large dram left in my old bottle, so I'll do some comparing myself. I found some original-bottle time benefits this one. I didn't set aside a sample, so I don't know if this makes a difference.

9 years ago 0

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