A Balblair 17 Masquerading as a Maritime Highlander in an Old Malt Cask

Continuing with the Old Malt Cask bottling with which we finished the series of the independent bottler masterclass reviews, we now turn to some other OMC bottlings, shared with me by my friend Manny, which will be reviewed over the next few weeks, not as a series, rather sprinkled over that period.

Photo Credit: independentconnoisseurs.com

Photo Credit: independentconnoisseurs.com

If you want to read more about the Douglas Laing and Hunter Laing companies, and the Old Malt Cask brand, you can do so on my 1975 Ardbeg review in the independent bottlers series here.

We start with a 17 year old Balblair out of a bourbon cask. This is a solid expression albeit not overly complex. The official bottlings of Balblair are mostly ex bourbon, very crisp highlanders. This one is less crisp and distinctively Balblair. It is, however, reminiscent of another highland 17 year old – the Old Pulteney.

Photo Credit: whiskyworld.ru

Photo Credit: whiskyworld.ru

Old Malt Cask Balblair 17 Year Old, Distilled April 1990, Bottled October 2007 (50% ABV, NCF, NC)

Appearance: Gold, thin legs.

Nose: Confectionery, fresh green fruit, a lot of honey and sweeter than you would expect from a Balblair, some Muscat dessert wine and a lot of freshness. Time brings out a coconut in droves.

Palate: Very spicy with pepper and a touch of salt with some honey under it. Water makes the pepper more pronounced.

Linger: Spice and honey, very long in the mouth, but not overly playful.


This is a highly drinkable solid dram, showing another side of Balblair, which is a little more akin to an Old Pulteney in an ex bourbon cask with spice and salt.

Manny, thanks for sharing, I enjoyed this batch of OMC samples immensely!



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