The Balvenie 25 Years ‘Rare Marriages’

The Balvenie 25 Years ‘Rare Marriages’

Rare Marriages is a collection of three whiskies, launched in 2021 and designed by David Stewart, the Master Blender at The Balvenie distillery.

The series contains this Balvenie 25 Year Old but also a 30 and 40 year old version. The 25 Years is a combination of mostly American oak ex-bourbon barrels and a smaller proportion of European oak ex-Oloroso puncheons.


The Balvenie 25 yo ‘Rare Marriages’ (48%, OB 2021)

Nose: a good dose of honey and beehive notes, with a lovely beeswaxy side and buttercups. Juicy apricots, quince jelly, subtle pineapple and a hint of marshmallow. Candied orange peel. Mint leaves. Shortbread and creamy whiffs of vanilla custard.

Mouth: the sweet fruity core is still up front, with stewed peaches, mirabelles and some oranges, as well as the expected honeyed notes. Also a good dose of oak spice now: cinnamon and candied ginger. Hints of coconut and vanilla, mixed with floral woody touches.

Finish: medium long, with more honeyed fruits

A really fresh and balanced composition, not unlike the Tun 1509 whiskies but with a much bigger focus on bourbon wood. Less complex, but it does highlight the naturally fruity, honeyed character of The Balvenie. Available from Master of Malt or The Whisky Exchange for instance.