Friday, October 25, 2013

The Golden Lady - The Balvenie Golden Cask Aged 14 Years

The Balvenie Golden Cask
I have made so many attempts to open this whisky in the past 6 months and yet overtime flawed. Generally it has been due to successive head colds and when you have a whisky called The Balvenie Golden Cask, you don't want anything to ruin the occasion. Well that time has come and only a shy of 2 weeks ago I sat down and opened this little beauty and it is almost gone.

The Balvenie Golden Cask Aged 14 Years was a limited edition whisky generally only seen in Travel Retail / Duty free. This bottle was given to me by fellow club member and father-in-law, The Grey Bush, on his most recent trip to Singapore. I can tell you I was not about to say no when it was pulled out of the bag. I cannot even tell you what it might have cost but it is a real shame it did not hit the shelves here in Aus because it really is a supper fine whisky. Aged at 14 years in the usual American oak ex-bourbon casks before a final finish in casks containing golden Caribbean rum. I cannot say exactly if the colour has been influenced by the rum cask but it truly is amazing to look at, especially when the light hits it.

The Balvenie Golden Cask Aged 14 Years
Distillery: The Balvenie
Location: Dufftown, Speyside, Scotland
Matured: American Oak
Finished: Golden Caribbean Rum
Alcohol: 47.5% ABV
Colour: Golden Sunflowers

Nose: Sweet vanilla, stewed pears, dry fruits, gingers and liquorice before a spicy alcohol whiff. I can get a hint of rum characteristics though they are not in the immediate foreground. Really enticing and very complex.

Taste: As with all Balvenie's silky and smooth to begin with before a high lift into the upper reaches of the pallet. Mandarine rind notes appear but my pallet then tends towards cinnamon donuts and ginnier bread. Dry oaks a more than apparent and a good deal of the vanilla and fruits ease off from the nose and the liquorice is totally left behind.

Finnish: Very long and dry with a heat in the chest and a tingle on the lips. Spices become even more apparent the longer the finish draws. This is where this rum influences really kick in.

Overall: Really excellent with a great balance of intensities. At 47.5% this is a heavy hitter but very very dramable over and over again. I would love to see more of it.

If you can get your hands on a bottle then do it as you won't be seeing this again as it has run its course. 6 out of 7 if I was to give a dram.

The Baron