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1989 Balblair Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml)
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- ABV 43%
Founded in 1790 Balblair is the second oldest working distillery in Scotland. It is situated on the Dornoch firth, one of the most stunning scenic areas of Scotland. The area is known as the 'parish of the peats' whilst the name Balblair means battlefield or town of the plain. John Ross founded the distillery and ran it as a thriving business until in 1817 he was sequestrated however this did not stop him and in 1824 was joined by his son Andrew in the family business. The distillery stayed in the Ross family until in 1894 when the tenancy was taken over by Alexander Cowan. In 1948 the freehold was bought by Mr. Robert Cumming who promptly expanded the distillery and increased production. Mr Cumming ran the distillery until 1970 when he sold it to what became Allied distillers, for the first time in its history Balblair was not owned by local businessmen. In 1996 Balblair was purchased Inver House Distillers.
The distillery itself is a two pot still capable of producing approximately 1.4 million litres of whisky a year. The water is drawn from the Ault Dearg burn which originates in the Struie hill. Today the Ross legacy of the area lives on as four out of the seven current employees share the surname Ross.
Every year the Distillery Manager, John MacDonald, selects the finest examples of Balblair from the maturing whiskies which he believes best exemplify the distillery style. Of the thousands of barrels sampled each year, only a limited number are bottled as Balblair Vintage, several of which have just arrived in Australia.
Tasting note: Pale straw colour with a water like hue. Moderate scents of pear and apple mingle with sweet malt and soft, undulating peat. Dried grass emerges with a trace of caraway. The palate is at once powerful delivering a very spicy, dried grass entry followed by subtle, spicy apple flavours. Well balanced but quite peppery. Long aftertaste of pear, green peppercorns and sweet cereals with a faint charry oak fade.
Other reviews...plate-cleansing from the off with the barley surging in gigantic waves; the oak is hardly shy but is very much kept in check... the key to this malt is its refreshing quality: the way the oak comes on board but the barley wins the day. An excellent journey. Rating: 89 points. - Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2008
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