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  1. #11
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    Re: Foreign Whisky of the Month - 06/2013: The Balvenie

    No idea how but don't think it matters. The family who built the distillery in 1892 still own and operate it so we don't have the problem of a brand changing hands thus having to date bottles to determine whose whisky they contain.

  2. #12
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    Re: Foreign Whisky of the Month - 06/2013: The Balvenie

    I've tried (and continue to try) to like Scotch - going to tastings around Atlanta (member of the Metro Atlanta Scotch Club) I've probably tried 50 different single malts over the past 2 years. Of all of those, I own exactly 4 bottles (one of which was a gift, that I did ask for). The Balvenie 12 yr Double-Wood holds one of those four select spots. As a bourbon and rye drinker, I don't look for the same things in my Scotch (two of the other four are Laphroaig Quarter Cask and Ardbeg 10 yr). If I want a bourbon or rye - I've got plenty of those. I found the Balvenie 12 to be very approachable and drinkable, without being too thin or wispy. One of my challenges with Scotch is that many of them seem to rely on my imagination quite a bit, with the host exuding "Can't you get the notes of tulip petals under some highland grass and . . . " when I basically get weak, sorta floral tasting whiskey. I've tried others in the Balvenie line that I liked (the 21 yr Portwood was pretty nice, but I wasn't prepared to part with the $$ for it; the 17 yr Caribbean Cask was in that same boat). I haven't had the 15 yr SB, but look forward to trying that. But I enjoy (although not as often as my bourbon/rye!) a pour of the 12 yr . . . typically on a slow night when I want something a bit different from what I've been dipping into.
    Gary
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    "Too much of anything is bad, but too much of good whiskey is barely enough." - Mark Twain
    "Because Whiskey Matters!" - David Perkins

  3. #13
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    Re: Foreign Whisky of the Month - 06/2013: The Balvenie

    The thing I notice about Balvenie the most, is its soft approachable flavors. Nothing to intense or to subtle. I have a single barrel of Balvenie here at cask strength, but without any finishing on it. Just from a hoggie. What I've come to appreciate with this no-frills example, is the fantastic blenders crafting the everyday bottlings from Balvenie. On its own from a hoggie, I find the malt to be rather underwhelming. But playing with different barrels, port, sherry, etc., they seem to do a really nice job to making the sum greater than the parts. My favorite expression's have been the recent Tun1401 versions. I actually prefer the 6th batch over the 3, because of the smaller amount of sherry in the 6.Though, if I had a time machine, I'd go back and pick up as much Portwood 21 as possible...at those much more appealing shelf prices from just 5 years ago.

  4. #14
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    Re: Foreign Whisky of the Month - 06/2013: The Balvenie

    I am pretty sure my SB 15 year is Cask Strength, or at least it is some weird number over 50%. I'll open my bar up and look later tonight.
    C

    "everybody defamates from miles away
    but face to face
    they haven't got a thing to say"

  5. #15
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    Re: Foreign Whisky of the Month - 06/2013: The Balvenie

    Quote Originally Posted by Virus_Of_Life View Post
    I am pretty sure my SB 15 year is Cask Strength, or at least it is some weird number over 50%. I'll open my bar up and look later tonight.
    47.8% or 50.4%
    Given the number of bottles seen in this list at those two abv's it would be an amazing co-incidence for that many barrels to yield the exact same abv.

    Note that the higher abv was used in the 1990's whereas the lower abv is for bottlings in the 2000's. So, they were doing an MM before MM even thought of it as a strategy to extend the yield from each barrel
    Last edited by portwood; 06-17-2013 at 20:31.

  6. #16
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    Foreign Whisky of the Month - 06/2013: The Balvenie

    I've had only brief run-ins with Balvenie that have left me completely uninterested in it. I associate it with bland sweetness and gimmickry wood-work. I definitely took note of the hype around the Tun 1401 batch 3, but I couldn't entertain the thought of plunking down $250 for an expression from a distillery I was so unfamiliar with for more than 5 minutes.

    The wide variety of releases coupled by the prices just high enough to make me think twice leave very little opening for me to work on familiarizing myself with the distillery. This is true for many Scotch distilleries, actually. I tasted a 12yo 1B earlier this year and found nothing persuasive about it at all.

    Unfortunately, my opinions on Balvenie are based on scant experience. But this is why I have spent so much time pursuing bourbon rather than malt: the much lower barrier to entry. It was more true 7 years ago than it is now, but it's not like scotch prices haven't climbed along with bourbon prices.

    Sounds like the 15yo would be the one to take the plunge on. I'll see what the prices are like for it around here, but I'm not optimistic I'll come away from the store with a bottle.
    "A man comes from the dust and in the dust he will end-- In the meantime it is good to drink whiskey."
    -->WhiskeyWonka<--

  7. #17
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    Re: Foreign Whisky of the Month - 06/2013: The Balvenie

    I really like their whole range, especially the value priced ones (I can find Doublewood for $30 and Signature for $35 in MN). The Caribbean cask 14 year for $55 or so is also pretty good if you like the rum influence. I did not particularly care for the Peated Cask 17 but I am not a big peat guy. I have also tasted the Madeira 17 and the Tun 1401 Batch 3, both of which were excellent. The 15 single barrel is also very good. I think they have done a good job of providing a wide range of whiskeys, the younger ones are affordable and the older, more expensive ones have been pretty amazing.
    -SOB-

  8. #18
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    Re: Foreign Whisky of the Month - 06/2013: The Balvenie

    When I was all into Single Malts and not drinking bourbon..The Balvenie Founder's Reserve was my bang for buck whisky. Really good stuff. I have had the 12 year Doublewood and like it OK..the 15 year disappointed me.

  9. #19
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    Re: Foreign Whisky of the Month - 06/2013: The Balvenie

    I would have to agree that when the FR was still gracing shelves it was indeed a great bargain and I feel that some of the entry replacements are,well a bit novice and dull.I do agree that both the Tun and the 21yr Portwood would be my overall picks of the lineup but as far repeat buys and not breaking the bank the 15 SB is pretty tough to beat for a Balvenie.Parting words the Caribbean Cask and Double Wood were both disappointments in my book,not necessarily bad,just lacking.
    "To deny our own impulses is to deny the very thing that makes us human."
    Larry Wachowski

  10. #20
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    Re: Foreign Whisky of the Month - 06/2013: The Balvenie

    Lackluster is exactly what I was thinking.

 

 

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