Yay! My 10th Review!
Before I start, a little background: The Balvenie 30 year sample was sent to me by /u/ez4me2c3d when he decided to have a lottery. Let me start by saying THANK YOU to him again, as this was an amazing gift.
When I came down from actually winning something, as I was so blown away an internet stranger would share a (very) pricey dram with me, I honestly didn’t know if I should turn it down or save it for years or wait until the apocalypse and use it to rule over the rest of humanity after the apocalypse or to start making reviews.
You see, this was 7 months ago, and at the time I only lurked on /r/Scotch , feeling that I didn’t know how to discern flavours or review. And while some would argue I still can’t do either, I couldn’t turn it down this once in a lifetime dram, so I only had one option: I had to nut up and start doing some reviews.
So here we are, 7 months later, a couple of reviews under my belt (and on the Internet) and my confidence is now built up, so I’ve decided to share the dram that started it all.
Price: $702.95 (CAD). However as I’ve mentioned above, I was extremely lucky to have been sent this sample for free.
Colour: Clover honey, No. 2 Amber
Nose: Hazelnut, butterscotch, a field on a spring day, smoke, vanilla, hint of a high end grocery store produce section.
I could sit back and enjoy the nose on this for hours. The complexity is amazing, and it all seems to blend perfectly, coming forward and then disappearing as time goes by. It’s one of those smells that brings up old memories of being a toddler, only with the great benefit that there’s also alcohol involved so you can act like a toddler once you’ve drank it.
Taste: Caramel, strawberry, alcohol heat, vanilla, honey, brown sugar, fruitcake.
This is very sweet, though not in a cloying way, more in a balanced way. The spice from the fruit cake and the strawberry pair with a dark chocolate in what I’ll call “heaven”, and if I was a hedonistic impossibly rich person, that is how I would spend my days off. And probably some of my days on.
Finish: Oak, tangerine, pepper, peaches, nutmeg, pineapple.
The finish is long, and goes on for awhile. I am almost sad by the oak, as the rest of the dram seems to have a dessert wine element to it, and then the oak just wades in, acting like it was invited. Not that I don’t think you could take the oak out of it, given 30 years in the barrel. In the end it’s not enough to ruin the finish, but just enough to get me thinking.
Conclusion: This is the oldest scotch I’ve ever tried, and actually the first Balvenie I’ve ever tried. The nose is perfection. I had a little left over, and when I had it the second time I tried it with dark chocolate, and the taste mixed with the chocolate is decadent. The only negative I have concerning this Scotch is the oak at the finish was completely left field for me, and somehow stopped this from being the best I’ve ever had.
That being said, I feel very lucky to ever had tried it, and would recommend anyone try it . My wife even tried some (she doesn’t drink whiskey) and she even enjoyed it, especially once she had some chocolate as well. I’ll have to try some more Balvenie’s.
Scotch review #10, Speyside review #2, Whisky Network review #16