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Balblair 15 yo (2019, OB, 46%)

“You’re not what you used to be”

One of the latest news from the wonder whisky world is Balblair’s climb-down about age statement. The stunning Highlands distillery used to state the vintage and the year of bottling. Now it has stepped back to the past, with a traditional age statement on the label, with minimum ageing: 12, 15, 18 yo… We managed to rustle up a sample of the 15 yo, matured in ex-bourbon casks and finished in ex first fill sherry casks. And now it’s time to test it. We’ve always loved the previous Balblair OB, let’s check if the new packaging and the new philosophy affect the whisky.

N: the fruity Balblair soul is here. An extra-aromatic nose, with a Berlin Wall of red apples and an atmosphere of strawberries and fresh plums… There’s a hint of “artificial” red fruits (soap or candle) and an intriguing balsamic, minty note. What if we said peach ice cream? Or banana yoghurt?

P: very intense and quite fruity. The sherry finishing gives a sticky, artificial sensation. It reminds us an ice cream (Croccante or Concertino: chocolate, crushed hazelnuts, cream and sour cherry). Banana again, and pannacotta. Extremely fruit-oriented. Sultanas.

F: sweet lemon and litchees: a compact sense of sweetness and citrus acidity.

This Balblair 15 yo is a very “modern” whisky. The casks influence is strong, and the result is a bit “labored”: it hardly matches our expectations and our imagine of the distillery. It also tastes younger than its age. 82/100, and we must admit it’s not as good and old vintages. We’re going to taste also the rest of the core range in order to change idea.

Sottofondo musicale consigliato: Cousin Stizz – Jordan Fade.

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