Excerpt: In keeping with the Speyside style, this single malt is grassy and rich without being overly smoky or peaty. The rum-cask finish, then, brings a touch of sweetness and vanilla to the proceedings. Even my wife, not much of a whisky drinker, likes this whisky.
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This is an expression from The Balvenie that sees finishing time in a rum cask.
Vanilla, so so much vanilla. Theres also sugar and some caramel wood notes, but the vanilla here is the frontrunner. Its not massively powerful, I dont pick it up and think "creme brulee" but theres magnitudes more vanilla than the other notes and its very inviting. I imagine this more as a dessert, after dinner dram and this nose backs that up fully.
This is a bit spicier than the 12, but theres also more sweetness. The mouth feel is a bit thinner, but the sweetness comes in a bit quicker as well. I wouldnt be able to pick this out as a rum matured scotch blind, I dont think, but the vanilla and sugar are there to guide you into questioning what kind of scotch this truly is. Its not ordinary, thats for sure. And theres something different about it, also for sure.
Its a bit longer, and theres more spice but Im glad its there. Without, this would be a sugar overload, but the spice is there to round it out and remind you that drinking more than a dram or two of this wouldnt be a good dessert - itd be a disaster. Its complex and well rounded, and while its a reach for the price, I still dont regret buying a bottle for my shelf.
It's a bit pricier than the 12, and there's a measure of complexity more but I don't see this as an everyday dram. You need to be in the mood for it, but when the time is right, this is downright delicious.
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