Re: The Balvenie - 29 March 2008 @ 7pm GMT
I know I'm dragging this thread back up, but I said I'd do a tasting and contribute a couple of notes this morning owing to me missing the actual event. All are without water and from a tulip glass.
Balvenie 10 Founder's Reserve (40%, OB)
Nose: Notes of vanilla ice-cream. Honeyed and vaguely nutty. Fruit (melon). Quite bourbon-like really. Custard Cream biscuits.
Palate: Biscuity and a little sour. Becomes a little cheek-drying. 'Exotic' fruit (melon, banana etc).
Finish: Lasts a while. Menthol and weak citrus cordial. Bourbon again. Something faintly herby appears within a few seconds of the swallow.
Balvenie 12 Doublewood (40%, OB)
Nose: Velvety. Creamy and lightly spiced. A little oak. Honeyed and sweet, with notes of butter and caramel. Lots of milk chocolate. Citrus fruits. Maybe a little herby/grassy? Small doses of liquorice.
Palate: Very smooth, mainly on citrus fruit and chocolate but also with a little honey thrown in for good measure. A nice winy character.
Finish: Winy again and quite long. Very faint menthol.
Balvenie 17 Sherryoak (43%, OB)
Nose: Party balloons initially, which mostly gives way to rich, bitter chocolate and fruitcake with plenty of marzipan. Lots of sherry presence. Also like sniffing a freshly-opened packet of wine gums! Faint hints of wood polish. The typical Balvenie character shines through after a few minutes. Dark fruit and possibly hints of Ribena/Vimto concentrate. Baklavas.
Palate: Yep, it's sherried alright! Slightly drying. Chocolate and a little vanilla and honey. Soft dark fruit. Wine gums again... Eminently drinkable.
Finish: Fruity and sherried, and long. And black wine gums...
Balvenie 21 Portwood (40%, OB)
Nose: Incredibly soft and immediately winy. Blackcurrant cordial, blackcurrant-flavoured sweets. Marzipan. Certainly very sweet. A very slight earthiness? Tobacco? A hint of citrus fruits. Very un-whisky-like but very, very good.
Palate: Very fruity (dark fruits, blackcurrant especially). Quite oily and slightly cheek-drying. Very sweet again, and now really struggling to class it as whisky.
Finish: Fruity and with the typical honeyed Balvenie character. Still incredibly sweet though, with the port influence playing a strong part.