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Stayed at a hotel the other night, and lo, they had an adjoining whisky bar. Balvenie 30 was on the shelf for 50.00 a pour. As I will never be able to afford a bottle, I figured why not give this one a go.
First, the good. The bartender provided a more than generous pour in a Glencairn. Nose was surprisingly tight. I let this set for a while and enjoyed another whisky. When I got back to my glass, it had opened up a little. Green apple and pear. Carmel apples on a stick.
The not so good. ABV makes its presence known. I'd have guessed higher. Add to that a most drying mouthfeel from the oak, and you've got a bit of a beast. Not what I was expecting at all. It's as if a sponge soaked up all of the liquid in my throat. Spicy wood. And that sucking on a popcicle stick feeling I have gotten from some other whiskies.
I took my time with this one, and I am glad I had the opportunity to try it. But it is not as good as the Tun 1401. In fact, I have had a couple of Balvenie 15's that were better (and some that were not).