Monday, 16 September 2013
Balblair 83 (cask 1252) - World of Whiskies exclusive
Bottling: Distillery Bottling (World of Whiskies exclusive)
If I said I wasn't excited about this it would be a complete lie. I have known about this on the radar for a wee while: Single cask 1252 Balblair matured in a single ex-bourbon cask for 30 years and then hand picked by WOW staff at Glasgow Airport, to be bottled and sold exclusively to World of Whiskies @ World Duty Free (Travel Retail). After 30 years of silently maturing this cask only yielded 162 bottles so that is about 15 bottles per WOW outlet if split evenly.
Nose: It's a Balblair alright. Mango, Grapefruit, Pineapple and Papaya riding that tropical wave I know so well. Unlike younger balblairs which are full of fresh estery youthfulness, the fruits in here are deeper and richer, and reduced down into a thick syrupy sauce. Syrupy sweet Pineapple Cubes and Cola Cubes from the sweet shop. The extra time in the wood has paid off with all those lovely notes coming from the oak with a big hit of warm spiced, iced gingerbread loaf. A touch of banana bread in there as well. Loads of sweet toffee, caramel and chocolate like Toffee Poppet sweets (formerly Toffets).
Palate: Chewing on that gingerbread fresh out the oven. Warming, honeyed, spiced. Very rich and the fruits are rich, ripened and reduced again. The tangy sweet zing from the Cola Cubes. Melting caramel and chocolate, with a strong but balanced oak coming in.
Finish: Long with the rich mature oak character, toffee and spices.
Comments: What a lovely old Balblair. This spirit has plenty of mature, rich character but stays with a youthful and fiery friend on the journey. If you love Balblair you shouldn't need to be convinced.