Distilled by The Balvenie and matured primarily in ex-bourbon, this 21yr expression sees some period of finishing in Port wine casks.
Orange peel, red berry, fig, pound cake, ginger, heavy fruit and sherry. The Port here is notably and unmistakeable - refreshing to see how active it is.
Thin to medium palate, notably heavy on current, blackberry, ginger honey and toffee. Jammy, fun and spritely. Fruity without being cloying or mistakable for youthful spirit.
Long finish. Second to the nose, the finish is quite lovely though it does depart with a bit of sulphur and bitterness, a bit of a surprise.
Overall, Balvenie has a lot to compete with in this particular part of the Scotch shelf. For those who may not find themselves drawn to Independent Bottlers, blistering high proofs or less well known distillers, the 21yr Port Wood is a delightful dram, though perhaps not as impressive as it could be.