Tasting Facile 2019 was opened with this 5-year-old Balblair, bottled in the 70s: that is, at the time when Balblair was one of the beating hearts of Ballantines, as can be clearly read on the label. Even today, by the way, there are single malt bottles from the distilleries that contribute to the blend of Ballantine’s (Glentauchers, Miltonduff and Glenburgie). We could launch ourselves into comparisons, into erudite considerations about the time that passes, the marketing offices and the prestige of the brands, but it’s July, it’s hot, let us drink….
N: very open, aromatic and ‘crispy’, very seductive. Very fruity, rather citric part, with lots of grapefruit and a bit of lemon. There is a fluffy note of dressing, of ironing; and also a share of white flowers, of chamomile, really delicate and pleasant. Pears and pineapple tartlets. The waxy part, honeyed, grows with time. An excellent nose, a real surprise.
P: the masterpiece of the nose is not fully successful, although it remains very pleasant and very drinkable. More flat here, between honey and a cereal bar, with still some hints of yellow fruit (pineapple). Lemon cream. Strikes a really interesting oily note.
F: short all in all, split between dried coconut, honey and a slightly bitter tip of grapefruit.
A relatively little known bottle, and indeed often stigmatized by many: it may be the oscillation between one batch and another, but this Balblair is really good. Simple if you like, but creamy, juicy, pleasant, with that patina of wax and old paper that always makes our heads spin. 85/100, not a point less.
Recommended soundtrack: Nicolas Jaar – El Bandido.