Balblair has been sticking to vintages, in lieu of age statements, and it seems to be working pretty well for the brand. You can always find, in the ever changing core offerings by the distillery a 10 year old (currently 2005) 12-13 year old (currently 2003) a 15-18 year old (currently 1999) and some chosen vintages like 1990 (reviewed here), 1983 and a glorious 1969 (which I tasted at the whisky show). Additionally, there are a few releases that are duty free exclusives, including a very interesting double 2004 offerings, from a bourbon cask and a sherry cask, which seem to be perfect to try side by side.
The 1999 is a vatting of both American oak, ex-bourbon barrels and Spanish oak, ex-sherry butts.
Balblair 1999, Second Release, Bottled 2014, (46% ABV, NCF, NC)
Appearance: Bronze, liquid leaves the side of the glass almost immediately. No real legs form.
Nose: Cerealy and sweet, with fresh pineapple and a hint of dried fruit (some sultanas and prunes). Overall the nose is gentle and sweet, sort of a dessert dram with a meal.
Palate: Bready with some sour sherry notes. Honey and some very light spice.
Linger: Hints of spice on the tongue, some dryness in the mouth and really light spices in the gullet.
This is a pleasant drinking dram, but nothing in it is really outstanding. This would be a great whisky to use to introduce new drinkers to whisky….