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Balvenie 30 Year Old

Average score from 5 reviews and 8 ratings 91

Balvenie 30 Year Old

Product details

  • Brand: Balvenie
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 47.3%
  • Age: 30 year old

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Balvenie 30 Year Old

The Balvenie Thirty, the 30 years old from this well-known Speyside distillery, was launched in 2014. I had the fortune of trying this at the whisky festival in Ghent. The label proudly claims ‘Traditional Oak & Sherry Casks’. When Balvenie says traditional oak, they mean American bourbon casks;

Oooh… yes, this is divine. A delicious panoply of sweet fruit with apricots, plums, baked apples and sultanas. The whole is drenched in flowery honey. A leaf of mint. Hints of coffee with chocolate. Beeswax. Gooseberries and nectarines kick in. Even some raspberry in the background. Mild, elegant and simply grand. Refined is the word I am looking for.

Good body. Oily to creamy. Immediately honey-sweet with a lovely spicy edge. Intensely fruity on the same fruit as the nose, joined by bitter oranges, mocha, lime and mirabelles. The fruit evolves towards the caramelized and dried variety. The oak delivers some cloves and black pepper. Great balance.

The mint and honey return in the long finish.

A grand Balvenie that again demonstrates the importance of good casks. If the whisky is still this lively and fruity after three decades, then you know what you are doing. Top dram. Between 750 and 1.000 EUR, depending on where you look. Google is your friend.


I've been on a bit of a whisky sabbatical of late choosing to concentrate on my day job for a change. One that affords me the luxury of buying all my whisky in the first place!. And I had decided I'd keep November light and easy in anticipation of December and all it's festivities.

I had to, however, make an exception when my local distributor called and asked if I wanted to interview Dr Sam Simmons, Global Brand Ambassador for Balvenie and share some drams with him.

For those of you who know me know that I'm a sucker for meeting important people from the whisky industry just to see what makes them and their distillery tick. What I didn't know was how likeable and approachable Sam (or Dr Whisky as he is affectionately called) would be.

After conducting a very honest and entertaining interview (which can be found HERE) it was time to move on to the whiskies.

After going through the 12 Double Wood, 15 Single Barrel & 21 Portwood it was time to taste the star of the evening: the 30 year old.

Constantly distracted by Sam's cheerful banter I tried to focus and get my senses working for this one. The thirty year old is a mix of ex-Bourbon and European Sherry married together by David Stewart. My sample is from a brand new bottle and served at 47.3%

Warm honey. Orange peel. Dry fruits. Spices. Nutmeg. Cinnamon. There's prunes. Walnuts. Leather. Green tobacco. Caramel. Black peppercorns. Oak. Figs. Toffee. Wonderful sherry. Chocolate. David Stewart really knows how to craft a nose, I'll tell you that. It's the best part of every Balvenie, in my opinion. This is close to being perfect. 24/25

Big. Oak. Drying. But in a nice way. Dried fruits. Dark honey. Cinnamon. Apples. Caramel. Burnt sugar. Toffee. Candied orange peel. Roasted almonds. I like the palate. It's got layers and feels mature thanks to the oak. The oak is on the verge of being a bit much but is then subdued as time goes by. Quite beautiful 23/25

Nice and long. Tobacco. Leather. Oak.

This is a really good premium whisky. While priced quite high I think it's one of the few that are close to being worth the extra cash. I really liked it. I think I liked it a bit more given my recent meeting with the lovely Sam Simmons, who is a whisky geek first and then a brand ambassador. At least, that's what he said and I have no reason to doubt him.


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).


I've had this about 6 months ago and honestly it wasn't all that, however one of my friend let me taste a new bottle just opened a week ago and I was floored. I think what I tried must have been exposed to oxidization and was probably at the tail end of the whisky. This was a centennial taste for me, because it was my 100th whisky tasted. Wow!!! The nose was great. Great combination of sweetness and uniqueness. It had a resemblance to an HP 30 and Old Pultney 21 nose. Taste was so bold, that I actually added water. I don't even like to do that on cask strength bourbons like handy and taylor. That was impressive. With water, it was tamed but still wonderfully bold. Classic balvenie flavors, but to the max. The finish was great as well. I'd say medium length and very drying. I rate this up there with the HP 30 and Glenmorangie Signet. Excellent whisky!!!


Nose: a complete flower bouquet, mixed with honey and fruit (tangerine and peach with some acid notes of citrus). Sawdust and butterscotch as well. Mouth: clearly pear and when that starts to fade some spicier elements (pepper, vanilla). The spices linger on in the finish with slightly bitter notes (cloves, chocolate). More pear.

Sounds like a nice whisky, but not everything you would want from a 30 year old...

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