There are 2 versions of the Peated Cask (the other one is at 48,7% abv). If we understood correctly the story, it depends on the fact that since some time, it’s not possible to indicate the cask type in combination with the region (“Islay cask”, for example) – that said, the recipe should be the same, 17 years in ex-bourbon casks and a final maturation of 6 months in ex-peated casks, even if online we found some different version we don’t want to believe (17 years in virgin oak…).
N: the difference with the other one is clear, or at least it seems. Compared with the Islay cask there is a coating peaty and earthy feeling, with even some mineral notes, humid soil and wet wool.. Also the sweet side seems deeper, it reminds of croissant, with heavy suggestions of baked fruit (apples and prunes). Something like ginger appears, nutmeg? Yes! There is also quite present an aromatic hint (let’s say rosemary). A very faceted profile of its own kind.
P: the real particularity of this whisky is even more extreme. The combination of peat and Balvenie sweetness are not combining, with results hardly describable. It’s frankly hard to describe; the most logic explanation would be to speak about a very intense honey (slightly bitter) and cereal biscuits on a side, an earthy smog, quite medicinal on the other. In reality the effect is very particular and it ends in a perverted game of refractions where the bitterness is totalizing, with roasted coffee notes and carobs.
F: quite long, chestnut honey and a toasted feeling, again coffee.
The experience of drinking two peated Balvenie has been a game of mirrors: the first one seemed super sweet and very much islander on the palate, this one seemed more islander on the nose with an unexpected plot-twist taste. Both are good and well-made whiskies, experimental products that try to act over an almost perfect distillate; the first one seemed a bit better compared with this, hence our vote: 83/100.
Recommended soundtrack: Anibal Troilo – Cambalache, let’s sing it loud and then let’s cut some heads with our machetes.