Balvenie has some 40 different single casks of their 25 years old on the market. I was fortunate to try single barrel #3160 that was bottled at 47.8%. It says Traditional Oak, which is Balvenie-speak for ex-bourbon cask, in this case refill. The whisky was distilled on 8th April 1992 (I was in my final school year, imagine that) and bottled on 13th February 2018. No chill filtration, by the way. It is very pale.
Very fruity and sweet nose on mostly apples, upholstered with a truckload of honey, some mint and wild flowers, vanilla, white grapefruit and baker’s spices. Some polished leather, sniffing tobacco and barley sugar. Leave it for five minutes and the apples and vanilla will rise above all other aromas. Very inviting.
It could have done with a little more oomph, but taste wise it’s just fine. Vanilla and white fruit (the apples are joined by pears), honey and green tea, while the oak takes care of some white pepper, a touch of paprika and a mildly bitter edge. It works well.
The finish is king. Very long – on pears, apples and honey, the Balvenie trinity so to speak – spicy, a bit drying and sweet. Menthol at the death.
This is very good and a textbook example of mature Balvenie. Having said that, around 500 EUR, which is an awful lot for a 25 years old malt, no matter how delicious.