After the success of batches 1&2 (see my notes on the 2nd) , comes the third batch (actually there’s a fourth batch already in some duty free shops worldwide, I’ve seen one on my way back from Heathrow a few months ago. If you are not familiar with the term, Tun 1401 : basically it’s a special vatting of hand picked casks by the Balvenie malt master David Stewart, which are then all poured manually into a big tun made of wood, and then given a few months to blend and “marry” as we like to call it, before bottling it. Casks chosen for the vatting this time are 7 bourbon casks and 3 sherry casks ranging from 1967 to 1989, This batch is available only in the USA.
If you recall Batch #2 was excellent and sold like hot buns (and boy am I glad I have ordered one faster than lightning). Batch #3 I am told also sold well and that is no surprise. I’ve gotten a wee sample sent over and I really am sorry I am only now posting my notes, but as they say, better late then never. So here goes:
The Balvenie Tun 1401 Batch #3 , 50.3% ABV Nose: Very appetizing nose with wood. A lot of it. some pine leaves, wood resin , eucalyptus and plenty of wood spices. Continuing with biscuits and nuts and hint of sherry as in dry fruit. Palate: Big palate. Rich thick malt and lots of wood, chilly. Dark chocolate and raisins dipped in rum.Spicy and cracking with woody goodness. Finish : Spicy and also bitter sweet with cocoa; dipped dry fruit as in a distant memory.
This is an excellent dram. period. How does batch #3 compare to batch #2, you ask? Well, it’s clear they have a lot in common although I believe that batch #3 is drier and the dried fruit are less pronounced there. It’s spicier than the second batch. If you ask me, I prefer batch #2, but you can be sure than batch #3 is an excellent dram and matches previous batches in quality.David Stewart has done an excellent job in picking those 10 casks. If you can get a bottle somehow, buy it. I do think it’s a great Balvenie, and they do not come any better than that.