By now we all know the great and highly popular Balvenie Tun 1401. There’s also an Asian counterpart, called Balvenie Tun 1858, sold exclusively in Taiwan. This first batch was made up of 9 casks (3 sherry butts and 6 bourbon casks), filled between 1966 and 1975 so aged between 37 and 46 years. As with the 1401, they were married for a few months in Tun 1858.
Balvenie ‘Tun 1858’
(50,4%, OB 2012, batch #1, Taiwan)
Nose: quite aromatic. There’s straw and leather, but also ripe oranges and some juicy apricots in the back. Some herbal teas and acacia honey. Mint and eucalyptus. Maybe a little tobacco. Also a floral, slightly potpourri-like touch but it works really well here. As with the Tun 1401, the real tour de force lies in controlling the inevitable wood. David Stewart did a good job again.
Mouth: a slightly sourish entry, not quite as creamy as I would have hoped. More on oak, bergamot tea and citrus (zest). Quite a leathery texture. There’s a nice sweetness in the background by the way, but it’s not thick enough to really stand out. No excessive dryness though. Spicy end: nutmeg, mint and cinnamon powder.
Finish: medium long and medium soft. Oak, soft spices, and lingering sherry fruits.
The price is too heavy compared to the Tun 1401 releases, but of course these are some of the oldest casks of The Balvenie. Around € 750. Not available in this part of the world. Thanks Jack.