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ratcheer
12-19-2006, 15:58
I went to my friendly ABC store this afternoon, having been intrigued by the Southern Comfort thread. They had it in 70 and 100 proof, but I didn't see anything on the label about the original whatever-it-was recipe, so I figured it was old stock and passed.

However, a display of The Balvenie caught my eye and I am now the proud owner of a $70 bottle of single-malt scotch whisky, 15-years old and single barrel. Something a little different for Christmas, I suppose. :blush:

I had a shot of it on the rocks as soon as I got home. It is as delicious as I had remembered from one drink in a bar in Atlanta, a few years back. Smooth as glass with honey-toned flavors.

Tim

ratcheer
12-23-2006, 06:49
Hmmm. There is an insert in the packaging that states that the whisky is not chill filtered, so not to be concern if it clouds up if it gets cold or when adding ice. No wonder it has such brilliant flavors.

Tim

DrinkyBanjo
12-23-2006, 08:00
I've resigned myself to the fact that I'm an Islay (or other island malts like Skye and Orkney) man when it comes to Scotch. Each time I try a new Speysider or Lowlander I seem a bit disappointed.

That being said I think I'm going to have to get a bottle of this stuff!

ratcheer
12-23-2006, 11:38
If anyone is wondering after DrinkyBanjo's post, The Balvenie is a Speyside / Highland malt.

They also claim to be the only vertically integrated Scotch whisky producer extant. They grow the barley, malt the barley, distill the whisky, make and maintain their own barrels (yes, from wood that has previously been used for bourbon, sherry, etc), and age and bottle it. IMHO, that is pretty impressive in this day and age. It is the craft oriented production methods that so strongly attracted me to bourbon, with great pride in creating a traditional product. :bowdown:

Tim

DrinkyBanjo
12-23-2006, 11:41
I think that Bruichladdich is now doing the same. I think they handle all aspects of their whiskey from growing the barley to bottling the final product.

CrispyCritter
12-29-2006, 21:45
I've only had one bottle of Balvenie 15SB, but it was a very fine pour! The honey description is spot-on.

ggilbertva
01-03-2007, 09:56
If anyone is wondering after DrinkyBanjo's post, The Balvenie is a Speyside / Highland malt.

They also claim to be the only vertically integrated Scotch whisky producer extant. They grow the barley, malt the barley, distill the whisky, make and maintain their own barrels (yes, from wood that has previously been used for bourbon, sherry, etc), and age and bottle it. IMHO, that is pretty impressive in this day and age. It is the craft oriented production methods that so strongly attracted me to bourbon, with great pride in creating a traditional product. :bowdown:

Tim

I tried the Balvenie at a Morton's Steakhouse in VA before Christmas and plan on picking up a bottle. I have a bottle of JW Blue lable, Dalmore 21 and Dalwhinnie 15. I love the Dalwhinnie and have found that I really prefer the Highland Scotch over the Islay and Lowland. I haven't yet sampled the Speyside or Campbeltown Single Malts.

ggilbertva
01-03-2007, 11:57
Ok, I'm a dope. the Balvenie is a Speyside.

ratcheer
01-03-2007, 15:48
I'm not really up on all this, but it seemed to me, from what I was reading, that Speyside is just a more specific area of the Highlands. I.e., all Speyside is Highland, but not all Highland is Speyside. I certainly may be wrong, though. :confused:

Tim

Str8RYE
01-03-2007, 17:50
You are CORRECT, sir!!!!

jsgorman
02-09-2007, 14:39
Springbank prides itself as the only distillery in Scotland to carry out the full production process on the one site. 100% of the traditional floor malting, maturation and bottling is done at the distillery in Campbeltown.

Balvenie is a fine dram, I have been buying up the 21 YO Port version as the price has doubled because of its popularity and new packaging.

If you can find one for $75-85, its well worth it.

boss302
03-18-2007, 11:51
If anyone is wondering after DrinkyBanjo's post, The Balvenie is a Speyside / Highland malt.

They also claim to be the only vertically integrated Scotch whisky producer extant. They grow the barley, malt the barley, distill the whisky, make and maintain their own barrels (yes, from wood that has previously been used for bourbon, sherry, etc), and age and bottle it. IMHO, that is pretty impressive in this day and age. It is the craft oriented production methods that so strongly attracted me to bourbon, with great pride in creating a traditional product. :bowdown:

Tim

Balvenie does, in fact, all of that. However, it should be noted that, even though they grow some of their own barley, most of the barley malt is still produced by farmers throughout Scotland. They'd have to, in order to keep their volume up.

I'm a big fan of their 15-year, and I believe their 10-year is probably the best value in the industry, and a great starting point for those interested in single-malt whiskies.

AVB
03-25-2007, 18:23
I've been a Balvenie fan for a few decades. The 15yo SB is probably the most drunk of my 150+ bottles. And while I agree with boss302 that the 10 yo founders reserve is a good value I think that the 12 yo DoubleWood is the better for someone to start with. All a matter of opinion I guess.

boss302
03-26-2007, 11:49
And while I agree with boss302 that the 10 yo founders reserve is a good value I think that the 12 yo DoubleWood is the better for someone to start with.

Ah, good to see someone else in my area posting on here! My mom and dad lived in Hanover for a few years, so I'm pretty familiar with the York area.

Anyway, the DoubleWood is an excellent whisky, but not exactly the greatest execution of a sherry-finished scotch-- it's almost like a slightly more robust Glenlivet (also sherry-finished), IMHO.

The best Sherry-finished 12-year scotch I've had so far was Glenmorangie's-- they have a knack for multi-wood aging that few other Highland or Speyside distillers can touch. Unfortunately, if my memory serves me correctly, the Glenmorangie 12-year series is significantly more expensive than Balvenie's DoubleWood.

AVB
03-26-2007, 16:04
Yes, Glenmorangie in general is more expensive then others in the same age group.

I'd be careful about such a broad statement that Glenlivet is sherry finished as it all isn't. I lean toward Glendronach or Cragganmore if I'm in the mood for a sherried dram but that is why there are so many so each can have their own preference.

boss302
03-27-2007, 16:01
I'd be careful about such a broad statement that Glenlivet is sherry finished as it all isn't.

It mentions nothing about sherry finishing in the Glenlivet label or website. The Pernod-Ricard website, however, mentions it.

Vange
03-28-2007, 12:02
I love sherry in my SMSW. With that said, Glendronach, Macallan 18, and Aberlour Abunadh are 3 of my favorite SMSW due to their intense sherry presence.

To stay on point of the original topic, Balvenie is one of my favorite product lines. The Portwood is one of my absolute favorites. I have tried the entire range at various whisky shows and the 12 and 15 I thought to be better than the 10. The New Wood 17 I didnt care for at all and woudve rated that one last. The 25 and 30 are sublime, although unaffordable. The 14 year roasted malt gets accolades, but is unavailable in the US.

AVB
03-28-2007, 13:06
The Glenlivet Nadura isn't sherry finished based AFAIK. Just as an example.

Vange
03-28-2007, 13:07
The Glenlivet Nadura isn't sherry finished based AFAIK. Just as an example.

Having tried the Nadura twice, I am 90% sure its not sherry finished. Decent dram, but not one I will own at home.

mitchshrader
03-04-2008, 17:24
this being my 'most owned' if not best loved scotch, i had to throw in a brief mention of the new 17 year sherry cask release.

i'm very much looking forward to a head to head between the aberlour 16 sherry finished, and the balvenie 17 sherry casked.

the former is one of my top handful, and the latter is mouthwateringly appealing. WHAT a chore, to compare them exhaustively.. ;)

I warn you though, on that Balvenie SB15, it's a comforting dram and you can get Very Used to having it on hand.

You might want to get one or two bottles extra. :)

drunkenjayhawk
03-09-2008, 21:33
Balvenie represents a good alternative to the been there done that of Glenmorangie and Glenlivet etal. Its good to give the smaller guys a try so to speak. Not that I do not drink 'morangie or the 'thelivet tho. As another poster indicated this drams popularity is going up and its harder to find the best expressions at a decent price. Still good when you can give it a chance. I prefer neat, especially with whisky at less that 100 proof as its watered down enough :slappin:

Megawatt
03-10-2008, 05:45
Balvenie represents a good alternative to the been there done that of Glenmorangie and Glenlivet etal. Its good to give the smaller guys a try so to speak. Not that I do not drink 'morangie or the 'thelivet tho. As another poster indicated this drams popularity is going up and its harder to find the best expressions at a decent price. Still good when you can give it a chance. I prefer neat, especially with whisky at less that 100 proof as its watered down enough :slappin:

Smaller guys? I believe that Balvenie is owned by William Grant & Sons, who are also responsible for Glenfiddich.

Bob O.
03-11-2008, 18:02
Smaller guys? I believe that Balvenie is owned by William Grant & Sons, who are also responsible for Glenfiddich.
Yep...you are correct.

JamesW
05-28-2008, 08:47
I just had the 15 SB last night for my first taste and it was as good as everyone here states. I tried it after the 12 yr dble wood which was also fantastic. Tonight I'm going to take a taste of the 21 yr Portwood (as you can see I bought a set of 3 x 50ml taster set :grin:). I will probably get a bottle of each after this as I was mightily impressed!

Megawatt
05-28-2008, 10:16
Let us know what you think of the portwood...

Vange
05-28-2008, 11:19
I love the portwood although i think I like just about every expression of balvenie ive tried except for thr New Wood, I didnt care for that one.

I used to get the portwood for $73, now its like $120. I guess I shouldve stocked up back then!

JamesW
05-28-2008, 20:14
Had the Portwood tonight. A great whisk(e)y for sure. it was very smooth with a lingering burn in the finish. I didn't note a very strong influence from the port as I do from sherry casks, however this did not at all detract from the enjoyment.

After having sampled these three Balvenie's (12, 15, 21) I must say I love them all. I would give a slight edge to the 15 SB but I'd really need to spend more time with each to make a final decision. The 21 yr is really high priced at 120 so that is a bit of a drawback you might sayhttp://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/icons/icon11.gif. The 12 dble wood was fantastic for the price ($40). The 15 is right in the sweet spot at $60 and 95 proof.

boss302
05-29-2008, 02:47
I'm not really up on all this, but it seemed to me, from what I was reading, that Speyside is just a more specific area of the Highlands. I.e., all Speyside is Highland, but not all Highland is Speyside. I certainly may be wrong, though. :confused:

Tim


You are correct, Tim. Speyside is a region of the Scottish Highlands whose water sources are tributaries of the Spey river system.

While the River Spey is excellent for Salmon fishing, what makes this such an excellent water source for distilling is the fact that the bedrock is granite, which is very dense and non-porous, resulting in very clean, soft water.

Speyside contains more than half of Scotland's working distilleries, who like to claim that their spirits are typically smoother than spirits from the other parts of the Scottish Highlands-- a claim that is contested hotly amongst scotch whisky aficionados.

Balvenie, along with Kininvie (whose spirit is only very rarely bottled as a single malt), is a sister distillery to Glenfiddich, the original single malt, owned by William Grant and Sons.

Speyside also contains many other big name distilleries-- Cardhu, Cragganmore, MacAllan, Glenlivet, and Aberlour are among them.

boss302
05-29-2008, 02:48
Does anybody know if this 15-year Single Cask is American oak, or Spanish oak? Balvenie often uses both.

Megawatt
05-29-2008, 05:47
Does anybody know if this 15-year Single Cask is American oak, or Spanish oak? Balvenie often uses both.

American oak, I believe.

I can't believe you can get that bottle for $60 in the US. It is $105 in Ontario...:hot:

doubleblank
05-29-2008, 12:55
I also find the 15yo SB to be my favorite Balvenie and one of my favorite scotches all around. My local mega retailer, Spec's, occasionally runs a special where if you will buy a minimum of 12 items, they give the case price on everything, including the hard liquors. Yesterday was one of those days and the Balvenie 15yo SB came to $53.67 and Highland Park 12 to $29.25.

Randy

JamesW
05-29-2008, 17:12
I also find the 15yo SB to be my favorite Balvenie and one of my favorite scotches all around. My local mega retailer, Spec's, occasionally runs a special where if you will buy a minimum of 12 items, they give the case price on everything, including the hard liquors. Yesterday was one of those days and the Balvenie 15yo SB came to $53.67 and Highland Park 12 to $29.25.

Randy

Sweet prices Randy! Here the 15 SB costs $57 and the HP 12 is $39 so that is a great score!http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/icons/icon14.gif

Luna56
05-30-2008, 14:22
If I could only have one SMS the Balvenie 15 would be it. It's not one of those whiskys you need to be in some special mood for, it's just great every time. Big, bold, classy. I'm jonesin' for a bottle right now. Also about 57 bucks here in NH, but regularly on sale for a bit less.

Cheers!

ratcheer
05-30-2008, 14:34
Dayum. It is always over $70, here.

Tim

AVB
05-30-2008, 14:57
Going on sale here in PA for $51.99 next week and the Portwood 21 will be $10 off at $99.99.

doubleblank
10-27-2008, 14:29
Following a tip from fellow SB.com'ers about some Ardbeg 17 here in town, I headed there to buy it and replace a recently emptied Balvenie 15yo SB. Low and behold, they have the Balvenie 15 SB on sale for $39.99. The saleslady said they sell it by the case at that price. I only bought two.....may go back for more since I really like this one.

Randy

JamesW
10-27-2008, 16:23
Following a tip from fellow SB.com'ers about some Ardbeg 17 here in town, I headed there to buy it and replace a recently emptied Balvenie 15yo SB. Low and behold, they have the Balvenie 15 SB on sale for $39.99. The saleslady said they sell it by the case at that price. I only bought two.....may go back for more since I really like this one.

Randy

39.99...Wow:bigeyes: Wish I was in TX!

AVB
10-28-2008, 05:32
$40 is $15 below the "sale" price here. Just outstanding. I probably drink more Balvenie 15 then any other scotch and I do have a lot to choose from.

Dramiel McHinson
10-31-2008, 21:54
I've sadly watched the price rise on the Balvenie range almost to the point where I won't buy it anymore. I bought my first 15 yo SB two years ago for $42, it's $67 now where I live. The Doublewood and Founder's Reserve likewise but not as expensive as the SB. I really like Balvenie and my first few bottles of the Double Wood were very tasty however the last bottle I opened was very astringent and not much flavor. I'm letting it rest hoping it or I will recover. I still have one each of the 10, 12, and 15 in reserve.

At the moment I'm hoisting a dram of the Aberlour 16 yo in your honor!

Megawatt
11-01-2008, 09:09
I've sadly watched the price rise on the Balvenie range almost to the point where I won't buy it anymore. I bought my first 15 yo SB two years ago for $42, it's $67 now where I live. The Doublewood and Founder's Reserve likewise but not as expensive as the SB. I really like Balvenie and my first few bottles of the Double Wood were very tasty however the last bottle I opened was very astringent and not much flavor. I'm letting it rest hoping it or I will recover. I still have one each of the 10, 12, and 15 in reserve.

At the moment I'm hoisting a dram of the Aberlour 16 yo in your honor!

I think it's $115 in Ontario currently...