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Balvenie 21 Year Old Port Wood Finish

Balanced Balvenie

0 387

@vanPeltReview by @vanPelt

3rd May 2013

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  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Balance
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  • Overall
    87

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Nose: Initially cherry and sweet vanilla are forefront with nutmeg spice. (I first likened it to an unpeated Ardbeg Uigeadail.) Further inhaling brings orange rind, nutmeg or walnut bitterness, and salty caramel.

Palate: Enters with a sustained floral tone, much like bergamot. A little rubbery or bitter, like walnut skins, but this is just balanced enough by the sweetness of vanilla and dried figs. Towards the end and before the finish, maybe some white pepper.

Finish: Nutmeg persists for medium length, with light overtones of a smoothening sweetness evoking vanilla/pear/clove/tobacco.

I am surprised that none of the 3 Balvenies that I reviewed tonight (12DB, 15SB, 21PW) overtly displayed the honey sweetness that is advertised of the brand. Instead, they have all been more serious and rather characterized by oaky nutmeg. The Port Wood presents the most balance among these, having more complexity and smoothness in the palate. I think that too much breathing seemed to bring out more bitterness, so I would recommend enjoying this one soon after pouring. Then the lasting impression is of a smooth but complex bergamot-vanilla treat.

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3 comments

Rigmorole commented

I agree. Best right off the bat in the glass. I recommend a Glencairn and not a big open glass for it. That will make it last a bit longer if you like to sip slow.

And don't leave it in a bottle less than one third full for longer than a three months. It could go bitter on ya.

In the immortal words of Yoda: "Oxygen a friend is not to this dram."

6 years ago 0

Rigmorole commented

Also, easy on the water. More than a few drops will bring out the wood and not in a good way

6 years ago 0

@vanPelt
vanPelt commented

Thanks @rigmorole. Concurrence, always nice it is to hear. I have been drinking this precisely as you prescribe above. Before pouring, only a tiny remnant of cold rinsing water could have remained-- enough for a point or 2? Not so sure...

6 years ago 0

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