Ballantine’s 21

Ballantines 21 1

Thanks to /u/I_SAID_NO_GOLDFISH for this swap, it was enjoyed by all.

Well, enjoyed assumes some things. Like, when I say everyone enjoyed it, I mean in that whisky nerd sense where we’re all glad we got to try it. We didn’t automatically love it.

Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself… let’s start at the beginning… wait, it’s too late for that. The middle it is.

And that’s how I defeated the great boar that I let loose in /u/muaddib99‘s condo. Let’s talk about the whisky.

Ballantines 21 is a blend, and oddly enough, the first Ballantines I’ve reviewed. I had a chance to try Ballantines Brasil in Iceland, however I felt that setup of events was too silly, even for me.

This part of the range owes it’s tastes (according to the website) to a great amount of European oak casks compared to the 17 or the 12… or Finest, I guess. or Brasil, or Hand Fired. Or 30. Or 40. Or limited. Maybe even to the moon.

So it’s a blend. And I’m not the biggest advocate for blends. However blends can be really tasty, and there’s something to say of a subtle dram versus a smooth one, so I’m excited.

Also it’s on one of my lists of whiskies to try. So me and the rest of the /r/canadawhisky tried this one out. Let’s see what I thought of it, shall we?

Ballantines 21 2

Price: N/A at the LCBO

Region: Blend

Abv: 43%

Colour: 7.5YR 6/8

Nose: Spirit, caramel, butter, pear

I may have been drinking. And by may have, I mean… I was drinking. However I’ve been taking breaks and having water in between.

Don’t even say it: The lady doth protest too much? How about you go eat a cactus, alright? My senses aren’t right boned, is what I’m saying.

This starts with a young, raw smell to it. I give it the benefit of the doubt, and wait awhile, however… damn this only gets marginally better. Not much here.

Taste: Pear, nutty, thyme, potato

Kinda earthy. And nutty. Seems to not have much going on. Tastes like earth.

Finish: Turnip, sauerkraut, smoke, butter, earth, ginger

More earthy. Lots more earthy. More to it now. Most of which is dirt, but yeah, there’s a lot more to it now.

A tremendous amount of dirt is something, right?

Conclusion: It’s smooth, not subtle. There’s a difference. This doesn’t have much going on. There’s an undertone of sweet notes, and maybe some spice, yet it’s not that great. I double checked, and most of us agreed it wasn’t that good.

I may revisit it in the future just to be 100% sure it’s not this bottle, however for now, it’s a big ole skip.

55/100

Scotch review #383, Blend review #43, Whisky Network review #588

1001 Whiskies to taste before you die review #258

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