Saturday, November 7, 2015

Bang On The Money - The Balvenie 21 Years Old PortWood

The Balvenie 21 Years Old PortWood
On the eve of our next DTWC I think it is only appropriate we revisit the premier whisky at our last meeting, The Balvenie 21 Years Old PortWood.

It is fair to say that The Balvenie gets a good looking form time to time at our club and rightly so. It is a great distillery making a fine spirit. What I find with The Balvenie though is that it is a whisky to enjoy in isolation. Its refinement is pure so taint from other whiskies and or other environmental influences can distract the sensory experience.

I chose The Balvenie 21 Years Old PortWood for my hosting of DTWC because it displays wood characteristics very few other whiskies achieve in good order. Old oak is often worrisome for me. Often enough whiskies take on that mousey old tweed jacket sensation. In the case of The Balvenie 21 Years Old PortWood the consistency of character is excellent. This excellence is good wood management by David Stewart, Malt Master for The Balvenie.

Mr Stewart has been working with William Grant & Sons for 50+ years now so it is no surprise he knows every one of these barrels that goes into making up this whisky. Traditional aged Balvenie is then transferred into premium old port pipes and casks for additional maturation. The result is a refined honey, fruit and nut characteristic.

The Balvenie 21 Years Old PortWood
Distiller: The Balvenie
Region: Speyside, Scotland
ABV: 40%
Wood: Traditional oak and ex-Port Casks

Colour
An old sunset cresting into the evening.

Nose
Oaky love and fruit basket layered with straw. The nose is fine and light while being unassuming as to what is to come.

Taste
Bang on the money with refined old oak. A creamy light gesture of wood, honey, nuts and fruity spice. The tongue tingles in excitement.

Finish
Long and drawn out as the wood effects all aspects of the experience. Still vibrant well after a dram the tongue will continue to tantalise your tastes buds with what has passed.

Overall this is a cracker whisky and I have to give it a strong 6.75 out of 7. Priced at around $230AU consistency is always sound and appreciation is guaranteed. For really aged character this is one of my go to whiskies at that price point and age.

The Baron