Bamber, i really enjoyed that Balvenie! Not as much as the 50.4 of the previous year it has to be said. It lacked the typical, obvious Balvenie sweetness, but preconceptions removed, i enjoyed it's relative dryness, and so did my neighbour who got through 2 bottles, no problem!
We await Mr Murray's take on it!
However, much as I respect JM and enjoy his writing I don't agree with EVERYTHING he rates. "Serendipity" was fun, but hardly God in a bottle as he seemed to think, and not half as fun as the Ardbeg 10 IMO. Sometimes preconceptions colour our enjoyment more than we realise. Could this be the case to some degree with this Balvenie-just different from what we expect?
I wonder whether, had this happy accident(Serendipity) occurred with, say, Caol Ila rather than Ardbeg, but tasted the same, whether JM would have rated it so highly? After all, his love of all things Ardbeg is legendary, almost to the point of bias methinks...not that I blame him!
Likewise , he went mad over the macallan FO 15, which same neighbour and i found bland...that bottle went down fast as i drank dram after dram, trying to "get" it, but without great success.