Review No.180. Balbalair 00 Bottled in 2017

I have already covered the 05 and 03 bottles of Balblair and this 00 version makes it my third. So you can probably tell that I am a fan of this distillery.  The main reasons I have worked my through their range quicker than other distilleries is because I am a fan of their flavour profile, they bottle at natural colour, 46% or more and they do not chill filter and their pricing is reasonable.  Ticks all boxes for me.  This 00 vintage which is about 17-18 years old cost me about £65.  This is my comfort zone in terms of how much I would spend on a bottle of whisky.  This whisky has been matured for 13 years in ex bourbon casks and then a further 5 years in  sherry butts.


Whisky: Balblair 2000 Bottled in 2017 Single Malt Scotch Whisky, 46%

Nose: Tropical fruit, brioche, vanilla cream, cinnamon, pears, apricot, orange, ginger

Taste: Biscuit, toasted nuts, grapefruit, oranges, brine, ginger

Finish: Ginger and spice

Score: 4

Summary: There is a wonderful mix of freshness and spicy richness to this whisky.  The freshness coming through in those tropical notes with pears and apricot and then the spicy richness with oranges, cinnamon and ginger.  They work really well together and you can tease out the spirit characteristics and cask influence.  This whisky is very fragrant and you do not need to search long and hard for the array of aromas.  On the taste the same characteristics are present but you do need to give this a bit of time and water.  I found it to be very concentrated at first and I could not pick all the notes that I was getting on the nose.  The wait is worth it with this one, once it opens up you will be rewarded.  I am yet to be let down by Balblair.


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


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