I got a chance to try bottle number 19 from batch 8590 of Balvenie Single Barrel 15 year old single malt at our local whisky society blind tasting. Maturation started in Ex-Bourbon casks in August 1997, bottled in October 2012. With a maximum of only 350 bottles per batch, the hopes were high on this whisky.
The Balvenie distillery is located in the Speyside region, in Dufftown, Scotland and it’s owned by William Grant & Sons. They have quite large and well respected core range and special bottlings. Somehow their products have never rubbed me the right way. Their whiskies are usually okay in my book, but nothing more.
Balvenie Single Barrel 15YO was no exception. Just okay. Actually the start was quite horrible, fortunately managing to get better while resting a while in the nosing glass. First there was a horrific, fermented kind of cider aromas, which really didn’t keep my hopes high anymore. The taste felt much better, and with time, the nose got a bit better.
Literally, this 15YO Balvenie is like Bitter Moon, when thinking about movies like I always do. Promising cast and an okay execution but not great. Balvenie turned out to be a disappointment in our blind tasting, which is usually the fun part when tasting blind. We all knew what was on the menu, but had no idea that Balvenie with its Single Barrel dram was so modest. If I remember correctly, the overall score was something like 79 or 80 points from 12 judges.
Ralfy scores this Balvenie very high, 91 points: