Thursday, November 20, 2014

Balvenie 15 Single Barrel (Bourbon Wood) No.10787

The Balvenie 15 Single Barrel Bourbon Wood has apparently been discontinued and replaced by a sherry cask version. Should it be lamented? Much like everyone else, I've drunk a bit of this over the years but I've not re-visited for quite some time, so I figured I'd give it one last spin to see how a (relatively) recent iteration from 2013 was looking.

Balvenie 15 Year Old Single Barrel (Bourbon Wood) No.10787

Nose: Honey, Manuka honey, lots of honey. With water there's honey, peaches and nectarines. Vanilla. It's become increasingly maltier as the bottle has emptied.

Palate: Honey - again and of course - but this time against a backdrop of thyme and maybe lavender. A strange oxidised white wine note follows, but largely fades after a short time. With more time and water there's also pineapple, vanilla and apricots.

Finish: Quite long. Nearly cloying in its sweetness at first. With water the finish loses some of this sweetness and seems to gain some tannin. There's still honey on top of stonefruits, but the wood is more prominent and there is something green and herbal - much like menthol - emerging halfway through the tail as well, leading to quite a bitter finish. This too has become much more pronounced as the bottle has emptied.

To be honest, I've had better versions of Balvenie 15, but based on this bottle I wont much miss this.
Simple, sweet, and increasingly not particularly enjoyable to drink.

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