Balvenie’s travel retail range holds the 12, 16 and 25. This range is matured in refill ex bourbon, first fill ex bourbon casks and first fill Oloroso sherry casks. I reviewed the Balvenie 25 year old, and was not blown away, if I put it mildly, and found it somewhat strange.
2017 saw the coming of age of Balvenie’s first annual (well, almost annual, and if you have a bottle of the Peat Week you saw it on the tube too) peated whisky. Under this program, the distillery uses peated malt for one week every year and it’s used for the Peat Week as well as for the Triple cask. It’s worth mentioning that this is Balvenie’s first foray into truly peated malt, although there have been two previous trials with peated casks – both the Islay Cask and the Peated Cask.
Balvenie 14 Peated Triple Cask (48.3% ABV, NCF)
Appearance: Gold, viscous and slow legs.
Nose: Honey and heather, with a deep maltiness and hints of vanilla, oak and some wet peat. You can get the sherry on the bottom of the dram, with a little more of it as time in the glass goes by. I don’t know if I’d say that it’s a Balvenie if tasted blind, but I would definitely be thinking Speyside, especially on the nose.
Palate: Peat and a sweet yet dry, with some bitter citrus rind and a light peppriness. There’s a green fruitness, mildly tropical on the palate.
Linger: Sweet and smoky, with the sherry casks in presence with a dryness and some dry fruit. Pepper lingers in the gullet, in a finish that isn’t short.
When traveling, this is definitely an expression you’d want to try, if the combination of fruity and peat is one you like.