I was very curious to try this one. The Ballantine’s 17 year old blend has a good reputation amongst critics so I was keen to see what this version had to offer, although I have not read anything that makes me think that this is made from the same mixture of whiskies. This one is made from a mixture of 50 single malts and grain whiskies. I find it fascinating that there are extremely skilled blenders out there that have the nosing and tasting abilities to be able to put something together (whether it be good or bad) using so many components.
Whisky: Ballantine’s Finest Blended Scotch Whisky, 40% vol.
Nose: Rhubarb and custard, cream and butter
Taste: Grain, vanilla and custard, smoke
Summary: I am not sure what to make of this one. I really really struggled to pick distinctive notes out of this, even the ones that I did pick were faint at best. Maybe my sense of smell and taste are not sensitive as those blenders but then you shouldn’t have to have a palate as developed as that to enjoy a drink. I give this a 2 because although it didn’t deliver any distinctive flavours it was pleasant to drink in that there was nothing that I found unpalatable, also it is accessible and available at a low price across the UK.
Scoring scale: My scores reflect a balance of the overall experience, availability and cost for a whisky,
1 – not to my preference
2 – tastes fine but does not excite me
3 – more to my liking and would revisit occasionally
4 – very much to my liking and would consider as a regular feature on my whisky shelf
5 – permanent feature on my whisky shelf
Image source: www.thewhiskyexchange.com