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Balvenie : the real taste?

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Balvenie : the real taste?

Postby Ann-Helen » Sun Mar 04, 2007 9:27 am

I`m wondering what do you think is Balvenie`s real taste or should I say which Balvenie has the real Balvenie taste : the founders reserve, doublewood or the 15 yo singel cask ?
I`m asking because the founders reserve and the doublewood are fairly similar but the 15 yo is very different, to me not Balvenish .
So please tell what do you think!
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Mar 04, 2007 10:36 am

I think there is a similar note in the taste and flavour of the 10yo and the 12yo doublewood because the 10yo as I understand it also gets a share of sherry-matured Balvenie into it, whereas the 15yo is a single bourbon matured version.

Sad to say I do not qualify for comparisons, having not ever tasted the 15yo! What can I say, so much whisky, so many options. My experience in Balvenie's is limited to 10yo, 12yo and the lusciously decadent 21yo Portwood. All of these versions have earned my highest respects.

I would imagine the 15yo single bourbon version to be a lot drier, less rich, and considerably more subdued, perhaps missing out on those honeyish notes that are abundant in the 10yo and become slightly exuberant in the 12yo due to the very strong sherry notes.
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Postby peergynt323 » Sun Mar 04, 2007 11:05 am

Balvenie claims to be the most "honeyish" of the single malts, so I have to say 10yo FR. It's got lots of honey character.
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Postby Reggaeblues » Sun Mar 04, 2007 12:57 pm

"I would imagine the 15yo single bourbon version to be a lot drier, less rich, and considerably more subdued,"

The last I had, the 47.8% was definitely a lot drier...but not subdued! Quite the opposite, but a different animal than the 10 or 12, different even than the samples of the previous 15 SB I tried (50.4 %)...this was sweeter and richer...more like an HP 18. but i enjoyed the 47.8%. I thought it was quite distinctive...but blind would bot have plumped fpr Balvenie.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Mar 05, 2007 7:55 pm

I have to agree with the general concensus so far that the 10 and 12 are quite similar in character and what most people would think of as a "Balvenie".

I have sampled both these two drams and found them most pleasing, but up to now I haven't had the pleasure of sampling the 15 year old Single Barrel. However, this will be rectified at the end of March when I host a whisky evening where the Single Barrel will be one of the stars.

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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Mar 06, 2007 5:00 am

I tend to think of the 15 as the "real" Balvenie, and the 10 and 12 as "Balvenie Lite". But I suppose it depends on your point of view, doesn't it?
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Postby Bullie » Tue Mar 06, 2007 8:54 am

MrTattieHeid wrote:I tend to think of the 15 as the "real" Balvenie, and the 10 and 12 as "Balvenie Lite". But I suppose it depends on your point of view, doesn't it?


Couldn't agree with you more. And the 25yo Single Barrel is as the 15yo but even more powerful.

If you taste the Vintages, they're more like the 15yo SB than the others.

The new 14yo Roasted Malt have the same qualities but a wee bit more pungent.
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Postby Frodo » Tue Mar 06, 2007 1:00 pm

MrTattieHeid wrote:I tend to think of the 15 as the "real" Balvenie, and the 10 and 12 as "Balvenie Lite".


Interesting. I agree with the 15yr old being the most "Balvenie-ish" of the lot, with the 10yr being a younger brother. The 12yr Doublewood and 1991 Portwood I found to be unlike the other two. Less Balvenie and more...something else. I did like the finished Balvenies more than the 10 or 15.
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Postby eddie c » Wed Mar 07, 2007 12:06 pm

I would have to say for me it would have the doublewood. The reason for this is it was one of the first whiskys that i went out to buy as it was given to me on my wedding night by the bar man for free on numerous occasions :D :D :lol:
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Postby corbuso » Wed Mar 07, 2007 12:51 pm

For me, I would go for the 15 YO single cask, since it is only matured in only one type of cask.. I tried quite a few vintages from Balvenie and for me the 15 YO offers an excellent quality/price ratio. However, I would like once to try a Balvenie matured exclusively in a sherry cask.

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Postby Elagabalus » Fri Mar 23, 2007 10:10 pm

So would I corbuso.
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Postby Lawrence » Sat Mar 24, 2007 1:01 am

I have to say in my mind that the Founders Reserve 10 is the 'face' or character of Balvenie. I am wary of saying that a single cask represents the character of a distillery but there are exceptions (like Caol Ila which seems to be pretty similar from OB to IB and back and forth). Having said that there are other exceptions; Aberlour in single cask form IB's never seems to match the flavour profile of the OB's.

I think the FR 10 has the lead for me.

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Postby Deactivated Member » Sat Mar 24, 2007 11:27 am

I would tend to agree with Lawrence on this. The distillery will have a "house" style which is usually issued at entry level to appeal to most tastes and pockets. If liked, the customer will move on to try different expressions which may or may not be better than the "basic".
Personal taste will no doubt take over and I like many prefer the 15yo to its younger siblings (which btw are still very enjoyable) but I still feel the distillery character is set out in the Founders Reserve. Everything else flows from those foundations.
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Postby Elagabalus » Sat Mar 24, 2007 2:33 pm

I concur Crieftain.
Then again I was just doing some research last night on glenmorangie. They have burgundy finishes, portwood finishes, sherry finishes, etc etc I mean what is the real taste of glenmorangie? I think the question was rather obtuse.
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Postby Ann-Helen » Mon Mar 26, 2007 2:19 pm

What do i know I was asking about the Balvenie !?
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Postby Elagabalus » Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:03 pm

huh?
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Postby Wave » Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:29 pm

Other Bruichladdich, Glenfiddich and Springbank that bottle their own whisky using the same water as was to make the whisky IMO the 'real' taste of any distillery's whisky & style is at cask strength without the influence of added water after maturation from an unknown water source. (picky, ain't I! :mrgreen: )
Having said that the Balvenie 15yo is my natural choice for the real taste & stlye of the distillery. :)


Cheers!
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Postby Lawrence » Mon Mar 26, 2007 6:03 pm

Elagabalus wrote:Then again I was just doing some research last night on glenmorangie. They have burgundy finishes, portwood finishes, sherry finishes, etc etc I mean what is the real taste of glenmorangie?


Glenmorangie 10 is the nearest you will come to the real taste of the distillery, IMHO.
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Mon Mar 26, 2007 6:06 pm

Lawrence wrote:
Elagabalus wrote:Then again I was just doing some research last night on glenmorangie. They have burgundy finishes, portwood finishes, sherry finishes, etc etc I mean what is the real taste of glenmorangie?


Glenmorangie 10 is the nearest you will come to the real taste of the distillery, IMHO.

.....and a very good one it is too :)
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Postby lbacha » Mon Mar 26, 2007 7:06 pm

If the traditional Balvenie was the 10 then they must be trying to phase it out because they don't even mention it on their website, I've heard people say it is not going to be produced anymore, but I don't know if that is true or not, so it looks like consider their traditional casks to be bourbon casks which would make the 15 yr old the traditional Balvenie by their standards. Here is the notes on their web site:

The Balvenie Doublewood Single Malt Scotch Whisky is a 12 year old single malt which gains its distinctive character from being matured in two woods. During its period of maturation The Balvenie Doublewood is transferred from a traditional oak whisky cask to a first fill Spanish oak sherry cask. Each stage lends different qualities to the resulting single malt - the traditional casks, having previously held bourbon, soften and add character, whilst the sherry wood brings depth and fullness of flavour.

I don't know if the 10 yr old had sherry casks in them but sherry casks seem to be something Balvenie uses to add some flavor to their whisky not as a core.

Len
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Mar 26, 2007 9:18 pm

lbacha wrote:If the traditional Balvenie was the 10 then they must be trying to phase it out because they don't even mention it on their website, I've heard people say it is not going to be produced anymore, but I don't know if that is true or not....


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

:oops: Sorry, Len! But this has been discussed here lately at great length. The official word is that the 10 will henceforth be available in the US, UK, and a few other select markets. It has been pulled back from other markets because it has been supplanted in popularity by the 12, and the stock is needed for that. Mark Gillespie got it from the source on an episode of WhiskyCast, although just now I don't remember which one.
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