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The Balvenie 21 yo_Decent or an Incredible Deal?

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The Balvenie 21 yo_Decent or an Incredible Deal?

Postby jb9492 » Sat Sep 06, 2008 9:28 pm

Hi everyone,

First thank you in advance for taking the time to read this topic, and post a response.

I currently have a good problem. The stores PA have what seems to be a great deal.

The Balvenie Port Wood 21 yo is on sale for $99 + 6% sales tax. Grand total = $105.

I have a bottle of the 15yo Single Barrell and think it is really good, but I have never tried the 21yo Port Wood.

Should I buy 1 or 2 bottles of the Port Wood or should I just pick up another bottle of the 15yo Single Barrell which happens to also be on sale for $55 after tax?

Happy Drams,

JB
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Re: The Balvenie 21 yo_Decent or an Incredible Deal?

Postby objetti » Sat Sep 06, 2008 10:25 pm

I have no idea on the US perspective on this but it seems like a decent deal but not incredible
You should buy one and if you REALLY like it another :smoke:
also welcome to this place - incredible things ahead I wish you
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Re: The Balvenie 21 yo_Decent or an Incredible Deal?

Postby orangedogofglory » Sat Sep 06, 2008 11:12 pm

welcome indeed!

a lot of specialty stores have been moving the Balvenie 21 up to the $130 to $150 range... but most discount shops still have it around $109. It has been moving up, but at $105 incl tax you're likely saving $15 or so. So it's a good deal, but not a major steal.

As for the Balvenie 15... again the specialty stores have it higher, around $65... but most discount shops still have it at $49. So at $55 incl tax you're paying about what you should.

My exposure to fellow drinkers has led me to believe that port either gets a very warm welcome, or a kind of eh, I dunno response. I would definitely pick up a bottle, because it is a fun drink and you're getting a decent price. If you like it, get another.

As for the 15... and I don't mean to be repetitive with my posts on other threads... what seems to be coming out of the warehouses lately is a 1990 to 2008. If this is the 15 you are looking at, pick one up. It is probably my favorite that has come out in the past 2 years or so. I've only had about 6 varieties, but this one is noticeably good.

HTH
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Re: The Balvenie 21 yo_Decent or an Incredible Deal?

Postby jb9492 » Sat Sep 06, 2008 11:34 pm

Hi,

Thank you for your feedback!

OrangeDogofGlory, thanks for being specific especially with the 15yo Single Barrell.

This might make you smile...my first bottle I found was 1990 to 1997, and I thought they were all 15's. The next few stores I went to I was opening the containers, got a few odd looks from workers, and found that the bottlings ranged from straight 15yo the 18yo. Definitely going to get an 18 yo for reserve.

In addition, lots of specialty stores have the low price, but they cannot ship to PA and don't include shipping. Unless you know of some that do so "legally"?

I'm off to the store and will post my thoughts on the 21 yo Port Wood in the next week. Don't want to pass judgement too fast.

Happy Drams,

JB
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Re: The Balvenie 21 yo_Decent or an Incredible Deal?

Postby Willie JJ » Sat Sep 06, 2008 11:41 pm

JB when you get time you might want to check out our Live Balvenie tasting. Much chat, but also lots of tasting notes and discussions of the 15 & 21yos.

http://www.whiskymag.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=8191

Cheers
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Re: The Balvenie 21 yo_Decent or an Incredible Deal?

Postby orangedogofglory » Sun Sep 07, 2008 12:50 am

jb9492 wrote:This might make you smile...my first bottle I found was 1990 to 1997, and I thought they were all 15's. The next few stores I went to I was opening the containers, got a few odd looks from workers, and found that the bottlings ranged from straight 15yo the 18yo.


ha ha ha - we had a thread on this a while back. If you still have the label on that old one, double check it. I had one that I swore up and down was only 14 or something to that effect, turns out it was simply poor handwriting. They don't do the dates by hand anymore, I've noticed. :lol: As for the older ones... indeed - one forum member, Sir Dino, has a 21 YO 15 YO. :shock: Would like to find one of those! viewtopic.php?f=6&t=8195&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&hilit=how+old+your+balvenie

...and yes, I usually pull the bottle on any 15YO I consider buying, mostly to see if it is one I haven't had. I get strange looks now and then, but hey, its my $50! 8)
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Re: The Balvenie 21 yo_Decent or an Incredible Deal?

Postby shoganai » Sun Sep 07, 2008 1:18 am

Had you lived in PA a year or so ago, you would have been able to pick up the Balvenie 21 for $85, which was an incredible deal. I am still a little upset I didn't get some backups at that price.

$100 is still pretty good though, and it is unlikely you will be able to beat it. I am probably going to grab one or two to stash away because it is really a great whisky at a good price.

(Side note: personally I think the Glenfarclas 21 for $100 is the best deal they have going in that class of whisky and is something you should consider too)
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Re: The Balvenie 21 yo_Decent or an Incredible Deal?

Postby shoganai » Sun Sep 07, 2008 1:24 am

One more thought:

The Balvenie 21 Portwood is much more in line with the Balvenie 12 Doublewood than the Balvenie 15. All three are awesome, but don't expect a refined version of the 15. Expect a refined version of the 12.
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Re: The Balvenie 21 yo_Decent or an Incredible Deal?

Postby bcrossan » Sun Sep 07, 2008 2:31 am

Pricewise it is a decent deal. But don't judge this one by yuor love for the 15. I like the 15 very much but I just didn't enjoy the 21. I know it is the port finish too. I had a Glenmorangie port finish and didn't like it either. So if you know you like a port finish this could be for you
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Re: The Balvenie 21 yo_Decent or an Incredible Deal?

Postby jb9492 » Sun Sep 07, 2008 3:15 am

Shoganai $85 would definitely be an incredible deal!

orangedogofglory wrote:
jb9492 wrote:ha ha ha - we had a thread on this a while back. If you still have the label on that old one, double check it. I had one that I swore up and down was only 14 or something to that effect, turns out it was simply poor handwriting. They don't do the dates by hand anymore, I've noticed. :lol: As for the older ones... indeed - one forum member, Sir Dino, has a 21 YO 15 YO. :shock: Would like to find one of those! viewtopic.php?f=6&t=8195&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&hilit=how+old+your+balvenie


Good to know that there are bottlings older than 18 yo out there. Although, they are plentiful in PA which at half the price of the Port Wood 21 is a great deal! :D

Been with the PW 21 yo now for about an hour just nosing. Like a big voluptuous woman just waiting to be taken. lol :angel:

Happy Drams,

JB
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Re: The Balvenie 21 yo_Decent or an Incredible Deal?

Postby jimidrammer » Sun Sep 07, 2008 3:07 pm

I can't add much to all the great comments. The Balvenie 21yo Port Wood is one of my favorites, but I didn't get to that point immediately. The flavor is so unique, and completely different than the 15yo SB, that I was on my third bottle over a couple years before I truly appreciated it. It was a much better deal @ $83-$90 than the current $125-$149 price, but almost everything 21yo+ has gone premium. At least it didn't take the hit like the Glenlivet 21yo Archive from $99 to $219! :shock: IMHO, all the Balvenie range is worth a try.

Slightly off topic: I agree that the '90-'08 15yo SB is great, it just makes me curious if they are running low of 14-16 stock. Any issues with the distillery in the early 90's? They have such a diverse range with the 10, 12, 15, the Limited Edition 17's really doing well, 21, 25 and so on. It seems odd to use 18yo for a 15yo product and not save it for something special. Not that I'm complaining, really looking forward to the RumCask 17yo due out soon.
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Re: The Balvenie 21 yo_Decent or an Incredible Deal?

Postby RogerB » Mon Sep 08, 2008 7:36 pm

$100 is a good deal now(about $50 cheaper than what it's going for).
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Re: The Balvenie 21 yo_Decent or an Incredible Deal?

Postby Ryguy » Mon Sep 08, 2008 7:48 pm

It is definitely a good deal, I just looked, I'd have to pay $146 after tax if I ordered one here through the State of Maine.
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Re: The Balvenie 21 yo_Decent or an Incredible Deal?

Postby objetti » Mon Sep 08, 2008 8:38 pm

Sweden (known for some of the highest liqour prices in the western world) has it at the moment for USD 126,50
(For reference - Balvenie 21 almost the same price as Springbank 15 here)
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Re: The Balvenie 21 yo_Decent or an Incredible Deal?

Postby orangedogofglory » Tue Sep 09, 2008 7:19 am

jimidrammer wrote:Slightly off topic: I agree that the '90-'08 15yo SB is great, it just makes me curious if they are running low of 14-16 stock. Any issues with the distillery in the early 90's? They have such a diverse range with the 10, 12, 15, the Limited Edition 17's really doing well, 21, 25 and so on. It seems odd to use 18yo for a 15yo product and not save it for something special. Not that I'm complaining, really looking forward to the RumCask 17yo due out soon.


This is something I've wondered as well, and the party line (which could be entirely accurate) is that the 15 is bottled for taste, not age. The reasoning leads to situations where casks at 15 years may not yet be ready, so they sit longer. So, they have plenty of stock, but the flavor may not yet be what they want.

I think there is a natural ebb and flow with stock cycles, and these will be to a degree dictated by external factors (ie availability of useable casks, water availability, energy/commodity prices, etc.). It would be interesting to see when ebbs and flows are amplified (ie 1983... and possibly the current market on either end), which I'm guessing some longer term followers have a general finger on. And some, naturally, are distillery specific as opposed to industry wide.

...and I'm also very much looking forward to the RumWood!
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Re: The Balvenie 21 yo_Decent or an Incredible Deal?

Postby Sir Dino » Tue Sep 09, 2008 3:24 pm

jimidrammer wrote:Not that I'm complaining, really looking forward to the RumCask 17yo due out soon.


The Rum Cask is out!
But back to Topic... :D
The 21Y is one of my favourite Balvenies. Smooth, very deep nose, absolutely delicious! IMHO a must have in every bar. "Like a big voluptuous woman just waiting to be taken." Great! :lol:

If you buy a 15Y please tell me the cask no., in cask date and bottling date for my statistics... :thumbsup:
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Re: The Balvenie 21 yo_Decent or an Incredible Deal?

Postby jb9492 » Fri Sep 12, 2008 5:16 am

After about 5 days and 5 drams mixed into my daily consumption, I have come to the conclusion that the bottle was a good deal, but not an incredible deal for $100.

The Balvenie Port Wood 21 yo is really good, and as many people describe "I could drink this all day". However, there seems to be something missing. I can't pin point exactly what it is...few comments:
- The nose is deliciously straight forward
jb9492 wrote:Like a big voluptuous woman just waiting to be taken. lol :angel:


- The taste seems to lack a battle and the development of multiple flavors, but very creamy and yummy.

- The finish medium in length and true to the tasting notes.

Highly recommended at $100 but would look elsewhere at $150.

Thank you everyone for your responses.

Happy Drams,

JB
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Re: The Balvenie 21 yo_Decent or an Incredible Deal?

Postby bcrossan » Sat Sep 13, 2008 3:07 pm

I went into a small local shop yesterday and found a steal on the 21....$85!!! :shock: :shock: Couldn't believe it.... everything else was normal price (well except for the Ardbeg 10 ay $40) so this must be old stock or mislabeled. I just wished I like this expression so I could have taken advantage of the deal :?
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Re: The Balvenie 21 yo_Decent or an Incredible Deal?

Postby orangedogofglory » Sat Sep 13, 2008 10:28 pm

bcrossan wrote:I went into a small local shop yesterday and found a steal on the 21....$85!!! :shock: :shock: Couldn't believe it.... everything else was normal price (well except for the Ardbeg 10 ay $40) so this must be old stock or mislabeled. I just wished I like this expression so I could have taken advantage of the deal :?


was it in a tube or a box, just out of curiosity
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Re: The Balvenie 21 yo_Decent or an Incredible Deal?

Postby bcrossan » Sat Sep 13, 2008 11:45 pm

orangedogofglory wrote:
bcrossan wrote:I went into a small local shop yesterday and found a steal on the 21....$85!!! :shock: :shock: Couldn't believe it.... everything else was normal price (well except for the Ardbeg 10 ay $40) so this must be old stock or mislabeled. I just wished I like this expression so I could have taken advantage of the deal :?


was it in a tube or a box, just out of curiosity


Tube
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Re: The Balvenie 21 yo_Decent or an Incredible Deal?

Postby orangedogofglory » Sun Sep 14, 2008 6:06 am

that is probably why - the tube is an older bottling. maybe they bought it from a collector or something, and are just trying to liquidate it.

I've heard internationally the tube is the only way it is bottled, but of course at 700ml instead of 750ml. The box is for north america.

still, wish a shop here had it for $85.

another curiosity question: what type of store is it? larger chain, multi-location regional group, run-down corner liquor store, etc.?
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Re: The Balvenie 21 yo_Decent or an Incredible Deal?

Postby jb9492 » Sun Sep 14, 2008 6:22 am

Just to clarify any questions, the bottle I purchased for $106 is in a box.

Furthermore, the abv is 43%, while the bottle rated by Jim Murray in the Bible had a 40% abv.

Is PW 21 at 40% abv in the tube?

JB
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Re: The Balvenie 21 yo_Decent or an Incredible Deal?

Postby bcrossan » Sun Sep 14, 2008 2:48 pm

orangedogofglory wrote:that is probably why - the tube is an older bottling. maybe they bought it from a collector or something, and are just trying to liquidate it.

I've heard internationally the tube is the only way it is bottled, but of course at 700ml instead of 750ml. The box is for north america.

still, wish a shop here had it for $85.

another curiosity question: what type of store is it? larger chain, multi-location regional group, run-down corner liquor store, etc.?


I forgot that the 21 is in a box... didn't even dawn on me when I saw it. Usually it is behind the counter too. This would fall into the run-down liquor store category I would say.
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Re: The Balvenie 21 yo_Decent or an Incredible Deal?

Postby Sherried Malt » Sun Sep 14, 2008 4:54 pm

jb9492 wrote:Just to clarify any questions, the bottle I purchased for $106 is in a box.

Furthermore, the abv is 43%, while the bottle rated by Jim Murray in the Bible had a 40% abv.

Is PW 21 at 40% abv in the tube?

JB


Late to the thread, but Joyal's in Rhode Island had the 21yo PortWood for around $95 if memory serves. It came in a tube and was the 43% version...
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Re: The Balvenie 21 yo_Decent or an Incredible Deal?

Postby orangedogofglory » Tue Sep 16, 2008 6:09 am

I'm not an expert...rather an enthusiast...but my understanding is that the PW 21 was always in a tube, until a couple years ago, maybe 2 or 3. Then, North American bottlings were put in a box, I assume to help rationalize rising pricing.

So, bottles in the tube can be found at 40% or 43%, while the box is only at 43%. That is my understanding.

thanks for the info, btw, bcrossan.
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Re: The Balvenie 21 yo_Decent or an Incredible Deal?

Postby Hereward » Wed Sep 24, 2008 5:28 pm

I was on holiday in Jersey a couple of weeks ago and found a Balvenie 21yo Portwood for sale in a wine shop for £32. As you can imagine, I seized that opportunity with both hands, though to avoid guilt I did ask the assistant if he was sure he'd got the right price before I bought it!
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Re: The Balvenie 21 yo_Decent or an Incredible Deal?

Postby Sir Dino » Wed Sep 24, 2008 5:33 pm

Incredible! 32$? :shock: You are a lucky man... :thumbsup:
Enjoy it! :thumbsup:
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Re: The Balvenie 21 yo_Decent or an Incredible Deal?

Postby Sir Dino » Wed Sep 24, 2008 6:40 pm

Ooops... 8) :headbang:
Nevertheless a very good price... :thumbsup:
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Re: The Balvenie 21 yo_Decent or an Incredible Deal?

Postby jb9492 » Fri Sep 26, 2008 4:33 am

Hereward wrote:I was on holiday in Jersey a couple of weeks ago and found a Balvenie 21yo Portwood for sale in a wine shop for £32.


What part of NJ and what is the store name? I can definitely make the trip, and will ask them to put a bottle on hold!!!

Sort of funny, the other day I was at a store in DE and they had Ardbeg 10 for $49 (no tax)! :) Not a crazy discount but the cheapest I've ever seen. Although, I don't feel guilty about getting good deals on scotch. Unfortunately we pay Federal and State taxes on income.

Happy Drams,

JB
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Re: The Balvenie 21 yo_Decent or an Incredible Deal?

Postby Hereward » Fri Sep 26, 2008 2:11 pm

Jersey rather than New Jersey, I'm afraid!
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