This Balvenie has been finished in 30 year-old Port pipes, and – apart from the limited edition Balvenie 30y – this is the oldest whisky in the current range. There have been younger PortWoods as well, released as 1989, 1991 and 1993 vintages.
This is the regular 40% version. In duty free, The Balvenie PortWood Aged 21 Years is non chill-filtered and bottled at a higher strength of 47.6% abv.
The Balvenie 21y PortWood
(40%, OB 2006)
Nose: on one side there is the (subtle) port wine influence, on the other side there are a lot of beeswax notes. Nicely balanced and very elegant. The waxy notes remind me of older Clynelish bottlings. Creamy honey, some oranges. Hints of old, dusty oak and gentle notes of tropical fruits.
Mouth: spicy attack and quite a juicy mouthfeel although it stays very polite and balanced. Dried fruit. Beeswax again. Slightly smoky and almost meaty after a while with distant hints of soy sauce. A bit underpowered maybe.
Finish: warm, nutty aftertaste. Pepper. Long and gentle on raisins and pear.
The mouthfeel, which is less powerful than the nose and finish, could have gained extra points with a higher strength. I expect the duty free version to be real stunner. Still a nice Balvenie. Price: around € 80.