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Balvenie Founders Reserve

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Balvenie Founders Reserve

Postby Aidan » Sat Oct 29, 2005 3:22 pm

Just had a nip of this. Beautiful. I like whiskys with a bit of sweetness. I could drink quite a lot of this. Then again, I don't think I have had a whisky I didn't like in quite a while.

I've also had a few balls of the 15 in the past, and my conclusion is that this is a great distillery.

What are the other expressions like?
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Postby bernstein » Sat Oct 29, 2005 4:20 pm

Aidan wrote:... and my conclusion is that this is a great distillery.

Yes, Aidan, it is! All of their range, as far as I have had a chance to taste them, is way above average IMHO. The 15 is my favourite, especially due to its pineapple-peach-vanilla-honey-fruity-juicy-oaky-younameit aromas. The Founder's Reserve comes next in my very subjective ranking. The Doublewood 12 is close by. Just the 1989 Portwood had some overhead notes I couldn't really correspond to - but it was still enjoyable. I heard very good comments around here about the 21yo Portwood, although can't say anything about it by myself... (sniff!).
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Postby Aidan » Sat Oct 29, 2005 4:33 pm

Bernstein, you are costing me money by recommending me these, as now I have to go out and buy them...
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Postby bernstein » Sat Oct 29, 2005 4:39 pm

Mission accomplished.

:D
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sat Oct 29, 2005 4:50 pm

Stock up on the 10 if you like it--it's being discontinued. Introduction of the 12 has apparently killed sales.

I think if I could only drink one whisky for the rest of my life, it would be the 15. Unless, of course, I could afford the 30!
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Postby Aidan » Sat Oct 29, 2005 5:09 pm

Unfortunately, the 15 yr old is 70 euro here. Ireland has one of the highest alcohol duties in Europe, and we still drink too much.
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Postby BruceCrichton » Sat Oct 29, 2005 7:48 pm

Got to recommend the 10 and the 12.

Anything else is a waste of money.

The 1989 Port wood was not well received in Dufftown, when it was introduced. 'Compost' was the taste that people said they got. :cry:
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Postby Admiral » Sun Oct 30, 2005 12:10 am

I really enjoy the honey notes in the Founders Reserve. It's there in both the nose and the palate.

I haven't done a HTH with the Double Wood before. Maybe it's time?

Cheers,
Admiral
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Postby Frodo » Sun Oct 30, 2005 5:23 am

For me, the delight was the Doublewood. It's one of the bottles (besides 10yr Talisker and 15yr Dalwinnie) that I would happily gravitate to in a bar. Super integration of sherry and distillery character IMHO. The 10yr wasn't bad considering the cost of the bottle. I really liked the 1989 Portwood bottling - again combining the finish well with the distillery character.

Had the 21yr (or was it 25yr) single barrel bottling once - wasn't overwelmed. Nice but not mana from heaven.
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Postby WestVanDave » Sun Oct 30, 2005 6:17 am

Having enjoyed the 10, 12 DW, various 15's, the 1989 Portwood and the 21 year old Portwood - the most pleasant surprise of late was the Balvenie Islay Cask. I've heard they took a real thrashinig for stepping out on this limb and with tails between their legs have promised never to repeat such an experiment... and all I can say is: pity!!! :cry:

I wouldn't be so harsh as Bruce:

"Got to recommend the 10 and the 12.

Anything else is a waste of money."


Bruce - perhaps your view is influenced by a bigger price spread than we see here in Canada. I can buy the 15 Single Barrel in Alberta for the same price charged for the 12 DoubleWood in British Columbia ($65 Cdn.)

Cheers, Dave.
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Postby Tom » Sun Oct 30, 2005 10:58 am

Balvenie is a hallmark for quality troughout with only one exception IMHO and that was the 17Y Islay finish. Apart from the flavors the price was completely insane and I am happy they will never try that again.

The 10Y founders Reserve has the cleanest honey I ever encountered in a whisky and it was this that awoke my curiosity towards the distillery. Sampled everything up to the 25 and even some vintages and its all good. If you like sweetness and vanilla/ Honey then Balvenie is the thing for you. (and me :) )
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Oct 30, 2005 5:21 pm

I had a bottle of the Islay Cask, and don't recall being bowled over by it, but I always thought the backlash against it was way overblown. I remember an irate letter in the magazine saying something like "This isn't a single malt, it's a vatted malt"--sure, and everything matured in bourbon casks is...? Silly stuff. Scotch whisky is matured all the time in casks that previously held Scotch whisky, occasionally from other distilleries. The final product may or may not have been successful, and that's for each to decide for himself, but that's an issue apart from the concept and practice.

In reaction to the hoo-hah, the SWA banned the use of regional appellations on labels of whisky from outside that region, and maybe that's as well--after all, an "Islay Cask" could be from Laphroaig or Bunnahabhain (but perhaps not from Caol Ila? There are no Caol Ila casks in Islay!). I still see Glenfiddich's Caoran for sale, though, and that's a far worse whisky in my mind.
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Postby jimidrammer » Sun Oct 30, 2005 6:08 pm

I've had 4 Balvenies open at the same time until recently (10, 12, 15, 21 OB) and can say they are all good drams. The 10 being phased out probably won't bother me too much as it was rather simple compared to the others. The 21 Portwood was really unique and lasted me 282 days and the replacement bottle beckons me to open it. The 15 is my best of the 4 choice and the 12 is the complex older brother to the 10. Balvenie will remain one of my favorite distilleries, being one of the first 3 I tried. Get the 10 while you can and try the rest they are very consistant quality and priced well in the U.S.
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Postby Lawrence » Sun Oct 30, 2005 7:06 pm

For inexplicable some reason Balvenie has been the hole in my tasting experience for the last 10 years, I think I've had perhaps 3 Balvenies the whole time. On all of your recommendations I've going to reacquaint myself with the line up. I'll let you know the results.

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Postby Admiral » Sun Oct 30, 2005 9:30 pm

For inexplicable some reason Balvenie has been the hole in my tasting experience for the last 10 years, I think I've had perhaps 3 Balvenies the whole time.


Wouldn't be the association with Glenfiddich, would it? :D

I still see Glenfiddich's Caoran for sale, though, and that's a far worse whisky in my mind.


I'm amazed this whisky found its way into the bottle. I couldn't believe what a poor, hot, fiery, and out of balance whisky this was. And I was not alone....the bottle came out amongst a gathering of very experienced palates, and we all thought it was woeful.

It gave Glenfiddich a bad name! :wink: :D

Cheers,
Admiral
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Postby Frodo » Tue Nov 01, 2005 4:39 am

jimidrammer wrote: The 10 being phased out probably won't bother me too much as it was rather simple compared to the others.


My thoughts exactly!
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Nov 01, 2005 5:03 am

I tend to agree, but it's still rather a shame. Is the DoubleWood now to stand as the "basic" Balvenie? Doesn't seem quite right.
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Postby bernstein » Tue Nov 01, 2005 11:50 am

Although even the Founder's Reserve is a vatting (ratio 9:1, if I'm not mislead) of bourbon and sherry matured Balvenie, the distillery character is found in its purest form in those bourbon matured casks. This is IMHO one of the secrets of the 15yo's success. The DoubleWood holds more sherry matured whisky - so it's not bad at all! - a further hint of Balvenie's excellence will disappear together with the classic 10yo.
Maybe the distillery will change the recipe of the 12yo after the disappearance of the Founder's Reserve (probably a higher share of bourbon matured Balvenie)? I would certainly be one of those looking forward to it.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Nov 01, 2005 5:52 pm

I was surprised to hear about the 10yo and fired off an email to Balvenie. They replied as follows

"The Balvenie DoubleWood will now be the "youngest" version available from The Balvenie Distillery in a number of markets world wide.

"However, The Balvenie Founder's Reserve aged 10 years, will remain available in some markets. These will include the USA, UK and Travel Retail."
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Postby Admiral » Wed Nov 02, 2005 3:26 am

I guess that means that they'll still make it, but obviously in less quantities.

I'm pleased to read that reply from Balvenie. Always a shame when a valued member of a distillery's portfolio is laid to rest.

Cheers,
Admiral
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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Nov 02, 2005 4:21 am

Well, that's contrary to what the guide told me at the distillery, but is good news, and makes some sense, as well. I presume it is being withdrawn from markets where it doesn't sell well, anyway.
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Postby Admiral » Wed Nov 02, 2005 1:41 pm

I'm not sure about that logic, Mr T. Sherried Macallans were a fine seller here in Oz, but they've been withdrawn from our market. :(

Cheers,
Admiral
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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Nov 02, 2005 3:22 pm

Yes, but the ostensible reasons for the withdrawal of the Balvenie 10 were entirely different from those surrounding the lack of availability of sherried Macs. In the one case, demand had apparently dropped. In the other, demand apparently outstrips supply. Two entirely different scenarios.
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