Single malt whisky - tasting notes

31 Aug 2012

Balblair 1990 (cask #1463)

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in Balblair

Balblair will shortly be offering a single cask bottling exclusively to Gathering Place members, its online enthusiasts area.

Cask 1463, filled in 1990, represents a very rare style of Balblair as it was an American oak cask which had previously contained Islay whisky. The resulting flavour is said to be unmistakable Balblair with an unusual twist! I had a sneak preview already – be sure to join the Gathering Place in order to be notified of its release date.


Balblair 1990 cask 1463Balblair 1990 (55,1%, OB 2012, Islay cask #1463, +/- 150 btl.)

Nose: hey, this is nice! It’s deeply fruity, with luscious apricot jam, apple compote, banana, jelly candy and even hints of lychees and marshmallows. Vanilla custard. Thick honey. All this sweetness is nicely balanced with subtle smoke and heather. You would never think this was distilled on Islay, but still it has a nice toasted oak theme. A soft spicy note too (pepper, cinnamon). One of the nicest Balblair noses I’ve found AND it has a whiff of smoke. Mouth: quite rich, still sweet and fruity. Yellow apples again, some strawberry sweets and vanilla fudge. Again a very soft smoky layer, a lightly peaty wave and an earthy, slightly bitter note in the background that might have come from the previous whisky as well. This earthy dryness tends to overpower towards the end. Finish: long, a little dry now, with liquorice and spices.

This one has a lovely nose, and the Islay character is more than just a gimmick. It’s noticeable but perfectly subtle. Too bad for the slightly tangy dryness in the very end. Around € 115. Recommended.

Score: 90/100

Balblair 1990 (cask #1463) 4 Ruben Luyten 2012-08-31
  • Alouis

    Thank you for your note.
    Where can i find that bottle please?

  • WhiskyNotes

    Did you read the article or just look at the score 😉

  • StuartHighland

    ‘You would never think this was distilled on Islay’… that because it wasnt. It was distilled at Balblair, but matured in a cask previously used by an Islay distillery, thus the peat smoke tasting note. I would like to try this though. Nice thorough notes.

  • WhiskyNotes

    I meant that in an affirmative way: you absolutely wouldn’t be tempted to think this was distilled on Islay, because it’s clearly different.



November 2015
« Oct    

Coming up

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

1932 notes by Ruben

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