Single malt whisky - tasting notes

04 Mar 2014

Balvenie Tun 1401 (batch 8)

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in Balvenie

David Stewart and Tun 1401The eighth release of the hugely successful Balvenie Tun 1401 found its way to Belgium at the end of 2013.

Batch 8 brings together the largest number of casks in the series so far, 9 American oak bourbon casks and 3 European oak sherry butts. One of them was filled in 1991, two in 1981 and 1982, but all the rest is 1970’s whisky. It’s the darkest Tun 1401 I’ve come across, a first hint of its character?




Balvenie Tun 1401 Batch 8Balvenie Tun 1401 (50,2%, OB 2013, batch 8, 2.700 btl.)

Nose: it seems immediately different from the others. Rather more overtly sherried. But stunning notes of American whiskey as well. I would say it’s fuller and warmer than the ones I’ve tried before. Mirabelles on syrup, black cherries, ripe banana and candy apples. Plenty of acacia honey and beeswax. Creamy vanilla. Cinnamon sticks and leather. Faint mocha. Excellent. Mouth: richly sherried again. There’s more cinnamon, dried fruits and strawberries, as well as top notes of orange peel and ginger cake. Vanilla pods and chocolate. Some woody spices, wax and pine resin in the end. Finish: long, leathery. Still some plums alongside the oaky touches. A tad too tannic to be truly heavenly.


Excellent Tun 1401, slightly different from the others, with a slightly ‘darker’ sherry influence, and my favourite batch so far (although batch 5 comes close). I believe the official price was around € 200 but as always with these kind of whiskies, some shops are not afraid to ask € 300 or more.

Score: 92/100

Balvenie Tun 1401 (batch 8) 4.5 Ruben Luyten 2014-03-04
  • Rogier

    I opened a bottle of this just over a week ago, to celebrate the fact that my wife and I are expecting a son. One sometimes wants to wait for a good occasion to open a nice bottle, and this definitely didn’t disappoint!

  • WhiskyNotes

    Congratulations on the son, Rogier. You’ve picked the right bottle to celebrate.

  • Bert B.

    I fully agree. To me the best I tasted of the Tuns so far. Better than the 5. Really MY kinda sherry.

  • The Malt Desk

    Tried the first 8 batches head-to-head las year in september and I remember batch 8 also making it to the top 3.

    My report from the tasting can be seen here:

    Sorry for the self promotion – but I hope its ok in the spirit (haha) of the Balvenie batches :-)



November 2015
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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)

1931 notes by Ruben

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