Balblair Vintages ’02 ’97 ’89 miniatures tasting 46% ABV
After recently trying the Balblair 10 year old ’02 vintage in a local pub I decided to track down some miniatures to explore the distillery’s character. Balblair gets a thumbs up from me because each vintage is bottled at a proper 46% ABV, non-chill filtered and no added colour. Tidy! The miniatures are handsomely presented, each in their own individual little box enclosed in a smart carton with tasting notes on the back. This set would make an excellent gift for a seasoned malt fan or even a newcomer to Scotch.
Balblair ’02 Vintage 10yr old
Palate: Rich, creamy, full and mouth coating. Silky, fruity with vanilla. Tinned fruits and cooked orange. Blossom honey with a spicy-ness. Lemon and lime zest.
Finish: Woody and subtle Bourbon. Smooth and lasting. A quality finish.
Balblair ’97 Vintage 16yr old
Nose: Instant hit of banana. Oranges, dried orange peel. Rich vanilla toffee. Spicy. Coconut also present. Full bodied honey.
Palate: Again rich, creamy and mouth coating. Satisfying. Tangy lemon zest. Sweet, tinned fruit syrup. Some bitter chocolate and toasted malt. Strawberries. Moves onto mellow wood. with balanced tannins, sherry cask like.
Finish: Balanced woody finish, sweet and spicy with a hint of brandy. Overall well composed and complex dram.
Balblair ’89 Vintage 23yr old
Nose : Spicy and rich. Vanilla honey and green apples. Red berries, raspberries. Wood coming through.
Palate: A mature and rich spirit. Still creamy with good sweetness. Honey and lemon hot toddy. Herbal. Cask influence coming through more now. Raisins and dried fruit, which with the more prominent tannins gives a sherry like character.
Finish: Smooth woody finish. Tongue coating and lasting.
Overall each dram in the set is of high quality. The complexity increasing with the age of the vintage. A fantastic Highlander.