Balblair 1999 is a travel retail expression. This whisky is matured in first-fill and second-fill American oak bourbon casks, followed by a finishing period of in first-fill European oak sherry butts.
(46%, OB 2016, 1st release)
Nose: lively and fresh. Fresh pineapple juice, banana, green apple. Rather estery, with a tropical edge. Then some honeyed notes, as well as hay, hints of lemon balm and floral notes (orange blossom). Fairly light but mouth-watering.
Mouth: pineapple freshness again, but with a firm spicy side from the European oak. Ginger, hints of chilli. Zesty citrus, including the slight bitter tang of orange marmalade. Some leathery notes and green oak. Almonds. Moving towards toffee in the end.
Finish: not too long, bittersweet, zesty and grassy.
This Balblair picked up green oak and spices from the sherry casks, rather than the classic dried fruits and raisins. The second release (now more widely available) is around € 90.