Single malt whisky - tasting notes

30 Nov 2011

Balvenie Tun 1401 (batch 2)

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in Balvenie

Tun 1401 is the favourite marrying tun of David Stewart, Master Blender at Balvenie distillery. He selected ten casks and married them for three months in this tun: seven bourbon casks and three sherry casks. Except for one 1989 cask and one 1967 cask, all were filled in the 1970’s.

Batch 1 of this expression (336 bottles) was presented in 2010 and sold exclusively at the distillery. Now there’s a larger second batch (available in Europe) and soon also a third batch for the US.


Balvenie Tun 1401Balvenie ‘Tun 1401’ (50,6%, OB 2011, batch 2, 2226 btl.)

Nose: rich and rounded. Great polished oak up front, immediately followed by thick honeyed notes and orange peel. Nice pineapple candy in the background. Vanilla and almonds. Raisins. Some hay and flowers (old roses). Very light spices. Excellent balance of sherry and bourbon, both are clearly present and work well together. Mouth: velvety and quite dry. Much spicier now, plenty of ginger and white pepper. A little nutmeg. Honey, apricot and (slightly tangy) orange peel again. Oak and vanilla. Faint hints of dark chocolate. Sweeter and fruitier with a few drops of water. Finish: very long, with Seville oranges, chocolate and nutmeg.

The best Balvenie I’ve had so far, including the Balvenie 30 years old. I really like the distillery character but in the past I was somehow missing either punch or personality. This one has a lot of complexity and power. A great marriage, let’s hope it yields many children. Around € 195. Thanks Marc!

Score: 91/100

Balvenie Tun 1401 (batch 2) 4.5 Ruben Luyten 2011-11-30
  • smsmmns

    Thanks, Ruben. Masterful use of words, as usual!
    For clarity, there are just 2226 bottles of Tun 1401 batch 2. The tun can hold just 2000L and David doesn’t fill it completely. Batch 3 (now in the US) yielded closer to 1800 bottles. Cheers.

  • Ruben

    Thanks for clarifying, Doc!

  • Gal Granov

    On the money.
    I love this one dearly, and after having tasted a sample, i got a bottle (should be here any day now). they were selling like hot buns, and no wonder.

    I agree with you Ruben. this is the best Balvenie for me too. i tried Batch #3 of this tun 1401 (US only), and that one is also superb, though i prefer batch #2.

  • Ricardo

    I have 2 bottles of Batch 3 but haven’t tasted it yet. Seems to be very little interest here (US) as far as I can tell so the bottle is relatively easy to find even though 1800 bottles. I should mention that Balvenie is not generally my cup of tea although I have had several that I liked very much.

  • Nick T

    Batch 3 is widely available in the US for around $200, seems like a steal when you compare the cost of other high end Balvenies.

  • Dram

    Batch 3 is the best so far!
    Great crafted rare malt from 60’s, 70’s and 80’s~~~

  • Maltman

    Best Balvenie ever! Highly recommended :-)

  • Jay T

    This is the best product balvenie has ever created

  • whiskyhunter

    I found some batch 2 at 230 EUR would it be worth the price?
    Ruben, Thanks a lot for your work :-)

  • WhiskyNotes

    I personally think of € 195 or € 230 as more or less the same price bracket. If you were willing to spend € 195, then this one is worth € 230 as it’s certainly high quality.

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November 2015
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Coming up

  • Amrut 2009 (cask #2701)
  • Lagavulin 12 Years (2015)
  • Lindores 2015 festival bottling
  • Glenlivet 1981 (#9468 for TWE)
  • Talisker Distillers Edition (2015)
  • Laphroaig 32 Year Old
  • Glen Grant 65yo 1950 cask #2747 for Wealth Solutions
  • Mortlach 1959/1960 (G&M Royal Wedding)

1929 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.