One more sample from Master of Malt Drinks by the Dram. I love The Balvenie, and have enjoyed nearly all of the expressions from their range. This is one of their 17yr old finished whiskies, which are not cheap (>$115/bottle).
The Balvenie 17yr Old Rum Cask is bottled at 43% ABV.
Nose: Oh, that is heaven! SO complex! The first notes I am getting is caramel and toffee, with berry fruits. It has a bit of depth to it, possibly a hint of smoke? Cherries, smothered in milk chocolate. Delicious. A bit of spiciness. This is really fantastic. I hate to taste it, as I don't know how the palate and finish can be as good as this nose!
Palate: Enjoyable. There is some chocolate sweetness and a bit of spiciness. Not much. It is almost boring, but probably just because the nose was so fantastic. Very supple. Almost velvety.
Finish: Oh there it is! WOW! Nice and long, with fruity sweetness coming out. Some oaky spice in there as well. Oh, this is where it's at. More spice coming out on the long finish, lingering on forever! You can really tell this was finished in a rum cask!
The nose is delicious, and the finish is fantastic, making this whisky one great dram. If the palate matched up with the nose and finish, this whisky would be one of the best. As it is, I think the 21yr Port Wood Finish is better. However, this is really a treat. I could sit here and nose this whisky for a long while. If you like a little spicier profile, but still want a nice velvety-sweet character, this might be just perfect.
I'm finishing off the sample of 17yr Rum Cask tonight. Wow. I am enjoying it! The nose seems a bit more closed than my first impression, but the finish is incredible. Very nice. This is one more winner from The Balvenie!
I am now re-tasting the 21yr Port Wood, just to compare it against the 17yr Rum Cask. Yep. I still like the 21yr Port Wood better. Simply divine...