How Clean Do You Like Your Whisky?

Many of us whisky lovers have a proclivity towards certain styles of whisky. Some have a sweet tooth and like sherry bombs, some are drawn to peat, others to maritime whiskies and yet others to the clean style of an ex bourbon barrel. Yes, I know I haven’t covered the field here with all wine casks and combinations of those four basic styles, like my own beloved peated sherry combo , and I won’t even go into regional characters, but basically, we each have a preference for one style or another at any given time.

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Yet with all the variety out there, there’s still something really clean and pure that can only come through in a fresh bourbon cask, and I find that the particular combination of Highland styled whisky works particularly well with the clean bourbon casks, and Balblair made that their signature distillery style.

This bottling is the first vintage bottling that Balblair bottles, and was the harbinger of the move from very mediocre aged expressions to very good vintage expressions. Today, Balblair is the only distillery working exclusively on vintages. The high end whisky on the market today is the 1969, and the regular expression are the 1983, 1990, 1999, and 2003, with two travel retail expressions: a bourbon cask and sherry cask matured both vintage 2004. All the distillery’s expressions are non chill filtered and are presented in natural color at 46% ABV.

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Photo Credit:

Balblair 1979 24 Year Old Limited Edition, 3150 Bottles, Sampled Bottle 3061 (46% ABV, NCF, NC)

Appearance: Gold, with a ring remaining on glass and releasing slow and thin legs.

Nose: Sweet honey and vanilla, some dustiness, a little note of fresh vegetation, distant baking bread, honey candies and sweet lemon.

Palate: Thick and chewy, very balanced with lemon zest, pepper and a lot of honey. There’s also a distant  This is a great sipper.

Linger: Lemon meringue pie, cake frosting, light spice in the back of the throat that lingers for a long time and leaves a light tingle on the inside of cheeks.


Classic Highlands ex bourbon cask, this is a classic Balblair. Despite the fact that Balblair isn’t imported into Israel, I’ve had quite a few of them, and I really enjoyed them all, I think the move to vintages with the artisan touch of 46% ABV as a standard with no chill filtration or coloring is one that defined the distillery.

My friend Joris sent me this lovely tipple – Thanks, mate!



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