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Balvenie Tun 1401 Batch 3

Average score from 4 reviews and 4 ratings 95

Balvenie Tun 1401 Batch 3

Product details

  • Brand: Balvenie
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 50.3%

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Balvenie Tun 1401 Batch 3

I can safely say that a glass of Batch 3 can be numbered among the best I have ever tasted. The nose was sublime, the palate incredible, and the finish long and extremely satisfying. Balvenie at its very very best.

Since this bottle is no longer available for purchase, I won't include tasting notes. Suffice it to say it marries sweet with fruit in a magical way that evokes hints of dried compote, red apples, berries, and citrus (mainly in the finish) along with caramel, nougat, white chocolate, and a hint of smoke.

If you can taste Batch 3, do so. You will NOT be disappointed. And if you find this bottle for purchase through some act of privilege or serendipity, please allow me to call you a fool if you do not buy it, provided you can afford the blessed bloody thing.

The Total Wine in Towson MD has it for $259.99. Price point is a bit high for me, but it is tempting after this review.


This is the US release, Batch #3. First review. In the short time that I have been a member here, I keep hearing the mantra "Drink now, don't hoard." I am, however, a hoarder at heart. It's this voice telling me, "You may never find this again. It's been discontinued! It's rare! Save it!" So against all your sound advice, I had no intention of cracking open this bottle.

I bought it last weekend en route to a friend's house for a party. He was not a big whisky drinker at all, but I was so excited about my purchase that it rubbed off, and he wanted to try it. And so we did.

The next day was bittersweet. I had half a bottle of the best whisky I have ever drank, and all I could remember is "It's good!" But, at least the bottle was open. So, let's try this again. Nose: Baklava. Faint notes of bourbon and vanilla. Floral. Candied orange peel. Taste: Raw honey sucked straight through the comb - That waxy paraffin note is there for sure. Mouthfeel is thick and rich, leaving my tongue pleasingly numb. Wax and honey burn slowly all the way down. So much raw honey! Some bitterness in the finish that begs for another sip.

I asked rhetorically, is this whisky worth the price tag? 250.00 in the US. Well, I have 2 more bottles on the way. Had I not cracked this open with friends, I never would have known how good it was, and would have very much lamented not buying more when I had the chance. Is it f'ing worth it? Are you worth it? Am I worth it? Yes. Yes we are.

I purchased my initial bottle locally in Nashville. The other two, from an online retailer, The Whisky Shop, in San Francisco. Normally, I would never spend this much on a single bottle. There is so much quality whisky to be had for under $100. However, this was exceptional, and I happened to be in the position now, to be able to justify it. My understanding is that the batch 3 is US only, but we are up to batch 5 or 6 at this point. When you consider the Balvine 21 at 150.00 US and the 30YO at 3000+, the Tun 1401, regardless of the version, is a bargain.

@Chookster - Afraid I can only offer faint comparisons. This was a honey monster to me. Older, higher proof Clynelish have some of that character. Occasionally I will get a great Balvenie 15 that is reminencent of the Tun's profile. But honestly, I have sampled nothing quite like it because I cannot afford to. Think about it. The Tun series consists of vattings of casks in the mid 20's to the high 30's in age. Where else are you going to find a quality whisky of that age for under 300.00?

Best advice I can offer is to look in smaller city's liquor stores for old dusties. You may luck upon a treasure that would never last on the shelves in a bigger city.


Fantastic expression I hope every whisky anorak gets to try. This is by far the best Balvenie I have tasted in 25 years of drinking single malt. Dark gold in color N: wonderful dark fruits (plumbs, red grapes, ripe blue berries), old leather and wood (I love this scent), beeswax P: Smooth velvety mouth feel, dreamy sherry, figs, vanilla, light smoky floral notes F: Long old oak, warm sherry, light spice, toffee, nuts, dark chocolate, walnuts...WOW!


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.

Bottom line:

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.

Wonferful? Looks like you had one to many, eh buddy? :) Just kidding. Sounds like one to track down. I have not tried any of the Tun 1401 bottlings in fact. Needs to be rectified.

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