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1991 Gordon & Macphail Private Collection Balblair 21 Year Old Croze Hermitage Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml)
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- ABV 45%
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. However, Balblair also encourage more experimental batches, such as this unusual wine wood finish. Distilled in 1991, this malt spent its last 40 months maturing in Croze-Hermitage wine barrels. Bottled in 2012, only 2000 bottles were produced.
Other reviews...This is a similar malt, but racier and with better balance. Big marshmallow notes up front, with a long, sweet body laden with baking spices. The finish hints at the wine barrels used in the finish, a distinct currant and vanilla mixture that comes across almost like candy. Touches of chocolate round out the finish. Really lovely and actually a bargain for a 21 year old whisky. 45% Alc./Vol. Rating A grade THE DRINKHACKER, December 9, 2012, Christopher Null. size>