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Whisky Magazine News - Balblair 1969 Vintage Unveiled

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Wed 14 Nov 2012

Balblair 1969 Vintage Unveiled

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International Beverage Holdings is to launch the 1969 Vintage of Balblair Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky, one of the oldest Balblair Vintages ever released. Balblair has become established as a favourite of discerning whisky drinkers worldwide. As well as being the only distillery solely releasing vintage malts, the contemporary packaging design sets it apart and the traditional production methods result in a single malt of rare quality.

The 1969 Vintage is the successor to the acclaimed 1965 Vintage, named Single Malt of the Year (Single Cask) in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2013; it scored 96.5/100 and Murray observed “it is almost too beautiful for words.” The 1969 Vintage is limited to 999 bottles and, as with every expression of Balblair, it is un-chill-filtered and naturally coloured. Bottled at its natural strength of 41.4%, this rare Vintage has matured for the last 43 years in American Oak, ex-bourbon remade hogshead casks.

This rare whisky was originally distilled on 7th February 1969. In those days the spirit in the cask came from the old coal-fired stills. Barley was malted on site then too. Back then, there was a workforce of twenty-two men. All dedicated to the art of timing and perfection. And, to make sure that high standards were maintained at all times, in 1969, the distillery was under the watchful eye of the manager, Mr John Grant.

Rich and golden with amber highlights, Balblair 1969 is spicy, fragrant and floral, redolent of lemons, apples, bananas, peardrops and toffee; the nose develops further notes of vanilla, leather and smoke. The multi-layered palate has a honey sweetness with hints of green apple, banana, pear and orange. It is full-bodied with a waft of smokiness and a suggestion of toffee and vanilla. Balblair 1969 is a superb Vintage that displays remarkable complexity and balance.

Distillery Manager John MacDonald observes of his latest selection: “This extraordinary, venerable Vintage has spent several decades slowly maturing – it has taken enormous discipline to wait this long to bottle it. I’m confident whisky enthusiasts around the world will agree when I say it has been worth the wait.”

Balblair 1969 will be launched in the USA this year at $3500, then released in 2013 in other focus markets including the UK, France, Russia and South East Asia.

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