17 Seems to be a good number for Balvenie, and Vom Fass, an independent “straight from the cask” retailer got hold of a batch of Balvenie.
While it seems, however, that Balvenie is happy to sell the occasional cask here and there, the Grant family seem to have an absolute aversion to having independent bottlings out there carrying their brand names. Thus, any cask leaving the Glenfiddich/Balvenie warehouses contains a teaspoon of whisky from another distillery, thus rendering it a vatted malt, one that cannot use the distillery name, nor be called single malt whisky. I reviewed the 24 year old “Burnside” by the Whiskybase shop here.
This phases neither Vom Fass or their customers. My bottle is called “T-Spooned” and actually carries the hand written description, in parenthesis, “99% Balvenie”. So yes, it’s not called Balvenie, but it’s definitely sold as one.
Vom Fass T-spooned Malt Whisky, Edition No. 1, 17 Year Old 99.9% Balvenie (41% ABV)
Appearance: Gold, legs are quick but they leave behind a lot of residue.
Nose: Honey and orange, classic Balvenie, but there’s also some spice perfume there, with the nose turning more malty and spicy with time in the glass. There’s also a very light sour note that develops, with a layer of spicy orange under it all.
Palate: Spicy and sweetish, not too much of a bite at 41%. The pepper is stronger than the honey at first with notes of ginger coming through.
Linger: The finish is long, with spice on the tongue, and to a lesser degree also in the gullet. Pepper with cinnamon settles on the inside of the cheeks. There’s quite a bit going on here on the finish.
Vom Fass always have a nice selection of whiskys, and you never quite know what you’ll find. I recently came across a Bunnahabhain that was out of this world, and this “T-Spooned” Balvenie is a lovely, and different (spicier) Balvenie.
The only issue I have is the price. The whisky costs about double what it would cost if bottled independently and sold in a whisky shop. I have, of course, no way to know the costs associated with selling whisky this way, but that’s the bottom line. On the other hand, you can buy a small, 100 ml, bottle, and enjoy a selection of whiskys that way.
Bottom line, it’s a nice expression….