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Balvenie Tun 1401 Batch 5

Average score from 2 reviews and 2 ratings 93

Balvenie Tun 1401 Batch 5

Product details

  • Brand: Balvenie
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 50.1%

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Balvenie Tun 1401 Batch 5

To smell; Deep, dark, thick and dried fruits; Musty Cherry, plum, fig. Thick and syrupy nose. Feels like you’re in the warehouse with the maturing whisky.

Evolves at its own pace; cinnamon, nutmeg, chocolate chip cookie dough, brown sugar, then other sweet baking notes. Soft coffee in the background. Light wood shavings. Every now and then a sweet spice makes its way to the front and forces an out-loud “oh my”. There’s also honey but it’s playing hide and seek.

To taste; full delivery, soft as a pillow, seduces the tongue with sherry chocolate, deep caramel, wood spice, and an assorted fruit basket that unravels like a flower blooming. It could be called a finish if the flavours ever subsided; it just goes on and on and on...

There's not much more to say. A Speyside veteran for the young'n's to aspire to.

Additional info - Batch 5 is comprised of; * 3 American Oak Hogsheads: 1966, '72, '73 * 4 European Oak Butts: 1970, '71, '72, '75 * 2 American Oak Barrels: 1974, '91

Under the very general assumption that a barrel is half a hogshead which is half a butt (someone please inform me if i am grossly inaccurate with this assumption) the average age of the contents of this whisky is just shy of 40 years old, with a mix of 29% bourbon casks and 71% sherry casks.

Purchased for $275 AUD, though did retail for as low as $250 at one stage. Balvenie 30 retail price in Aus - $482 AUD. Balvenie 40 retail price in Aus - $3,777 AUD.

Thanks @Wills, Im fairly certain of the cask types and years but wouldnt take my other calculations as exact. Keep in mind this is for batch 5, and the other batches are composed slightly differently. Is it the batch 5 you are getting a sample of? Regardless, I find it to be superb whisky, and still my favourite of all I have tried. Maybe also keep in mind, since you are purchasing a sample, that it will really take some time to open up given the age. If I was you I would attempt to drink and nose the sample (assuming it's one drams worth) over the course of half an hour to an hour so as to have it fully open up.

But in the end it is up to you ;) Enjoy.


Another sample (this is batch #5). This is a vatting of 4 sherry butts, 3 bourbon hogsheads and 2 bourbon barrels from 1991 back to 1966.

Nose: This baby is deep and just loaded with a ton of aromas. Green apples, cereal, chocolate malt, off-sweet honey, beeswax, acidic chardonnay wine, and yeasty like a sharp Champagne. Trace amounts of date, grape juice, and raisins.

Palate: All over the place and laden with contrasts, yet it all works completely. It's silky, yet rich. Sweet and also a bit bitter from the wood. Awesome honey. A sense that maybe one of the bourbon casks took on a lot of wood, but it provides great balance. More fruit - apples, raisins, cinnamon, papaya, sweet orange stone fruit, and eau de vie from the same fruits. Maybe even a hint of banana.

Finish: All in the glow of the palate and nose. Fantastic depth and length. Maybe it's from the wood, but there's a great smoky bacon flourish, too.

With water, everything is cast into greater relief, and the honey and wax win out. The other fruit and wood flavors recede. A stellar bottle, and I'm not one who usually is keen on apple flavors (especially green) in my whiskies, but it's not dominant or troublesome here for me. I haven't tried the other batches in the series, so I can't compare, though a lot of reviewers think highly of it. All the bottles tend to sell out very quickly. Having said that, I'm not entirely sure why. Yes, it's a great whisky. At around $250-300 for a bottle, it's not a bargain, and it's not even from a silent distillery (which would suggest rarity and limited stocks). I'm not sure how long The Balvenie will produce from the Tun 1401, and word is that batch 6 is going to be released in the US soon. I'm going to sit on the bottle of batch 3 that I have, but will not be seeking another bottle of the stuff.

@numen - I will pose you the same question that I did to Onibubba as my bottle of tun 1401 is nearing empty and im looking for something to fill the void; have you ever tasted a whisky of similar flavour profile and quality to the tun 1401?

@Chookster, I've had only the Batch #5, and I think that I've had a few that were in the same general profile of honey, beeswax, fruit, and the like. They tended to be older Clynelish (for the honey/beeswax, though the fruit was not always the same), and a few other Speyside. I suppose it also matters what price range you're considering.

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