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This tasting is from my currently opened 15 yo Single Barrel that was in Cask 15-9-80 # 141, Bottled 11-1-00 # 151. I still have another unopened bottle in reserve from 23-1-81, 20-6-97 and this is the 3rd bottle I have owned.
As stated by others, since these are single barrel offerings, each barrel will be unique and slightly different. Even though that is the case, there are some noticeable notes of each cask that displays of the Balvenie house characteristics.
Reviewed uncut/neat and then with a splash of filtered water.
Nose: Initially moderate spiced pear, vanilla, honeycomb and charred oak. Upon further exploration when cut with some water I discovered a layer of marzipan, apple, tangerine, wild flower, cotton candy, caramel and some star anise. Oh how I do love the nose on this!
Taste: Initially neat with peppercorns, wild honey, heather, and apple. When cut I found a nice nutty Sherry character along with a dash of earthy cigar and cedar undertones and even a brief moment of candied dark fruits (sugar plums?).
Finish: The finish is a tad short (specially when cut) but there is a lingering peppery, minerally, tannic and boozy tone. It is interesting that the alcohol of this whiskey seems to show once the flavors have pasted. Very minor charred or smoke tones but they are there.
Mouth Feel: While only medium bodied, there is an oily and rich feel that I really like about the spirit. That only got better once it was opened by the water which lessened or smoothed the tannic tea bag and alcohol driven ending.
Overall: This cask expression is more spicy and peppery than the other I have had in the past and slightly less floral and honey tones but the sameness is still nicely apparent. I would recommended this to your "peat loving islander" friends to show what a Speyside can really do.