Balvenie Tun 1401 (batch 5)

The Balvenie has produced a real prize-winner with its Tun 1401. By now you know the story (if not, have a look at Tun 1401 batch 2). Batch n°5 is a marriage of four sherry casks (filled in 1970, 1971, 1972 and 1975) with five bourbon casks (1966, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1991). Indeed, that means half of the casks were 40 years or older! All these casks were in the marrying tun for three months and bottled at cask strength.

Batch 1 was a distillery only release, batch 2 went to Europe and the Middle East, batch 3 to the USA, batch 4 for travel retail and batch 5 is for EMEA again. Batch 6 is on its way (USA), a vatting of 7 bourbon casks and 2 sherry butts.





Balvenie Tun 1401 batch 5Balvenie ‘Tun 1401’ (50,1%%, OB 2012, batch 5, 2862 btl.)

Nose: lots of beehive notes. It’s deeply honeyed and also shows beeswax and polished oak. Great start. Then the expected oranges and yellow plums. Fresh, bright sherry notes. Some almonds and vanilla syrup. Milk chocolate. Quite some cinnamon.

Mouth: silky and rounded, fruity with more punch than expected. Oranges and lemons. Cinnamon again, soft pepper and liquorice too. Plum jam and honey. Raisins. Fades on citrus zest and caramelized nuts.

Finish: medium long, citrusy, spicy and malty, with a slightly tangy oakiness in the end.

This is another excellent piece of blending supremacy. It really takes the best of both the sherry casks and bourbon casks. Originally around € 200, now gone or priced much higher. Thanks for the sample, Tino.

Score: 91/100