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BALVENIE 15 YO SINGLE BARREL (2017, OB, 47.8%)

Ciao, sono Balvenie. E voi chi c**** siete?

Balvenie is in our heart: one of the seven pillars of Dufftown, one of the most representative whiskies of Speyside’s ‘traditional style’ (better: of the steroptype of Speyside’s traditional style). The huge variety of Balvenie’s range is ennobled by a lot of single casks: this 15 yo ‘Single Barrel’ matured in Oloroso Sherry casks is a standard edition, but of course it’s always different. Today we’ll taste cask #11272, bottled in 2017 at 47,8% abv. Color is ruby-rubacuori (sorry guys, it’s a joke that only lovers of Silvio Berlusconi’s legal matters will understand).

N: a very dark sherry barrel, pushing and dusty… The very first layer is of… bacon!, then leather, some very dark chocolate, gunpowder, a lot of tobacco, spices (cinnamon mostly). Red fruits’ juice, a lot of tamarind. Very expressive, as usual, even if a bit darker than usual. Intense blackberries, black fruit.

P: very good. Starts on licorice, alkermes, trifle… then a huge roundness comes out, balanced by great tannins. The juicy roundness is made of blackberries, blueberry juice, black grapes, again cocoa beans. The dustier side of the nose disappears here, and that’s fine.

F: very long, juicy and enjoyable, on dark chocolate and cherries.

Simply, a very good whisky: all you can expect from a big and fat spirit matured in an ex-sherry cask, everything in a perfect balance. One of us whines, though, and say it’s not Balvenie enough, and there’s too much wood for a full 90: but he was distracted by some ladies on a zoom webinar, don’t trust him. 89/100 anyway.

Recommended soundtrack: FKA Twigs – Cellophane.

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