31 Aug 2012
Balblair 1990 (cask #1463)
Posted by: Ruben 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 (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.