Probably one of the best single malt scotches out there for the money in the 15 to 25 year old category .
Notes:The Balvenie Port Wood 21 Year Old Single Malt Scotch is an interesting expression of a 21 year old single malt – and is rather unusual as many distilleries would not risk such a venerable whiskey in what ( at the time this wood experiment was started) might be a huge mistake but Balvenie won – and so by extension did the rest of us…
The Balvenie distillery was established in 1892 and is owned by the same people who make Glenfiddich. Unlike most Scotch distilleries, it still has its own floor maltings.
The Highlands have a few different sub regions and styles- this one is considered a Speyside by location and style/profile. It is aged in bourbon casks for at least 21 years, then transferred to Port casks and checked at 6 month intervals for maturity
This company has a range of malts 10, 12, 15, 17, 21, 25 and 50 year-olds, and a number of special bottlings. Not as well known as some of the industry heavyweights. Considered by most reviewers as a good to excellent whisky more affordable for the quality across its age range as it is somewhat lesser known.
Appearance: Fresh oat straw, lighter gold in the glass, nice edge line on the glass when you swirl it, smooth layer of whiskey on swirling (almost no legs to speak of).
First Impression: Peat smoke, honey, heather, malt, nuts, sherry wood comes through.
Taste: Light oily feel to the malt. Medium-weight mouth feel (for a scotch). Peat seems to settle on the midline across the tongue, followed by Oloroso sherry and nuts, a touch of pepper, then malt and heather. Finish is dry, long and toasty
Drinks: Decent spirits glass (Riedel or better yet Celtic Malts) glass only.
Cigars:Yes, but nothing too heavy- try a Natural Wrapper or Connecticut Shade cigar something good like a Fuente, Joya de Nicaragua, Credo or Ashton.
Final Thoughts: A very interesting, complex and damn fine malt for the money. The bigger names charge twice as much for something this nice. Whisky at this age can be woody as hell, tired, cost more than a car payment. This whisky I am glad to say is none of the above.
Bottle: Comes in a lined presentation box. Attractive if slightly dated looking label (fine with me). Clear glass classic shaped scotch bottle shows off the wonderful age and color to good effect. Dark purple black wrap with dark gold lettering. Real cork closure. Like the whisky, solid quite and understated. Nicely done!
Web site: http://www.balvenie.com
Charming format with extensive information. Be prepared to spend some time digging through the information they posted, there is quite a lot and it is all worthwhile.