There are certain distilleries that just can’t stand the idea of independent bottlings carrying their name. Glenfarclas and the Grant’s distilleries (Glenfiddich, The Balvenie and Kininvie) come to mind (with the exception of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, although the Balvenie and Glenfiddich have very few barrels in Society hands).
However, every once in a while there’s a barrel that just won’t fit anywhere (in a blend – be it a blended scotch or blended malt, like Monkey Shoulder), and begs to be sold off to an IB. In such cases, the distillery will put a teaspoon of another single malt whisky into the barrel, thus making it a malt blend that cannot be labeled a distillery single malt. A teaspooned barrel of 24 year old Balvenie was recently bottled by The Whisky Base under the Burnside label from Barrel 12452 yielding only 207 bottles, and my friend Ofer Ben Or got his hands on one of these quickly sold out beauties.
Burnside (spooned Balvenie) 24 Year Old, Distilled 6.1989, Bottled 3.2014 (Bottle 148/207)(51.7% ABV, NCF, NC)
Color: Gold, slow legs.
Nose: Honey, nuts, red berries, that Balvenie nose is unmistakable, flowers, fruit custard pie. Water opens up more of The Balvenie sweet spice akin to the 15 Single Barrel (at least those I tasted).
Palate: Mild honey, pepper and citrus notes. The palate is far less complex than the nose. It’s very good, just not overly complex on the palate.
Linger: Very long linger, staying with noticeable citrus notes on the tongue.
You can take David Stewart’s signature off the lable, but you can’t remove his signature from the spirit.