Thanks to whiskytanuki for taking the amazing pics at the recent tasting.
I spoke in my previous review of a Balvenie of the experiments that started back in 2001 and how Balvenie got it’s groove back..
Wait, no, that was a woman who went to the Caribbean. Balvenie just decided to try peated things.
The other release from Balvenie that uses their peated malt (that I tried during a Balvenie tasting) is Balvenie 14 Peated Triple Cask. This is actually the first peated Balvenie released, launched onto the travel retail market.
Like other Triple Cask releases, this is matured in three casks: First-fill bourbon, refill Bourbon, and Sherry.
So the question is how this differs from the second release, which is all refill bourbon. Same age between them, similar vintage (maybe, not really stated, that’s incorrect).
The question that comes up then is: How will these two differ? Let’s see how it tastes, shall we?
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Cask Types: First-fill bourbon, refill bourbon, and refill sherry
Colour: 5Y 9/6
Nose: Alcohol, BBQ chips, grass, honey mandarin
Initial nose is kinda rough. It mellows out as the standard Balvenie profile comes in like a parent stopping their kid from breaking some art.
Nice mixture of orange and honey on the nose. Just… give this one some time to open up.
Taste: Orange chocolate, molasses, raspberry, smoke
Interesting mixture of orange and chocolate that dominates most of the taste. It’s not overly smoky until you’ve had it a few times, with fruit and tart notes being the bigger notes.
Finish: BBQ sauce, honeydew melon, grass, brine
Finish is similar to the Balvenie 14 2002 Peat Week, save it’s less honey and more fruit and simpler melon. Also I got some brine here, even though the peat didn’t add it.
Conclusion: A less balanced, more rough version of a peated Balvenie, the sherry dominates here, the extra sweetness of the first fill bourbon, and the added sweetness of the peat all adds up to too much.
I think if they try something like this again, perhaps removing one of the many elements adding sweets. It’s a bit much. Also the nose had a rough alcohol element right off the bat. All in all, I think the peated Balvenie for peat week is a better option, and hopefully they grow.
Scotch review #865, Speyside review #249, Whisky Network review #1386