Balblair 1986 (cask #12649 for TWE)

Whisky Show Old & Rare Glasgow

The first edition of the TWE Whisky Show Old & Rare (organized by The Whisky Exchange, guided by whisky experts Angus MacRaild and Jonny McMillan) will be held this weekend in Glasgow. It’s going to be a mind-boggling display of fine, rare and antique single malts and spirits. Lots of auctions houses and collectors (Dornoch Castle, Fiddler’s, LMdW, The Auld Alliance, Michiel Wigman, Jens Drewitz, Geert Bero…) will let you try some of their most precious bottles.

Tickets for Saturday are sold out, but you could still go on Sunday. Entry is around € 120, half of which can be used as whisky tokens.

There are four exclusive show bottlings:

  • Balblair 1986, G&M Cask Strength
  • Glenrothes 1986, G&M Cask Strength
  • Caol Ila 1984, Single Malts of Scotland ‘Director’s Special’
  • Glen Garioch 1990, Signatory Vintage




Balblair 1986 cask 12649 for The Whisky ExchangeBalblair 30 yo 1986 (49,5%, Gordon & MacPhail ‘Cask Strength’ for The Whisky Exchange 2017, refill sherry hogshead #12649, 48 btl.)

Nose: Cantaloupe melons and lemons, orange zest, then also overripe banana. Muesli. Something of mint ganache. Damp wood – it oozes old warehouse. Underneath there are hints of yeasty dough and brass polish. Wet tobacco.

Mouth: fresher, with bright oranges and lemons, lots of waxy notes, a little pine resin and growing spices. Pepper and liquorice. Still this minty edge. Not immensely complex, but really elegant.

Finish: long, on stewed fruits, oak, nutmeg and eucalyptus.

This Balblair fits the Whisky Show Old & Rare perfectly. It has this old-style je-ne-sais-quoi that is hard to find in modern whisky. Around € 355. Given the quality, I don’t expect any bottles to reach the webshop.

Score: 90/100