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Balvenie Port Wood Finish 21 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml)

Speyside, Highlands, SCOTLAND
$399. 00
$4788.00 Dozen
ABV: 40%
Spurred by the success of his original distillery venture, Glenfiddich, William Grant set about expanding his business empire with the purchase of Balvenie New House in 1892. The Balvenie distillery has now been owned and managed by William Grant and Sons as a staunchly independent and family owned operation for over five generations. Nowhere else will you find a distillery that still grows its own barley, still malts in its own traditional floor maltings and still employs coopers to tend the casks and a coppersmith to maintain the stills (although some would argue this is all solely show for the tourist value it offers). Regardless, successive generations of skill on the malting floor, in the tun room and the still house, in the cooperage and the warehouses do seem to have preserved a consistency and remarkably high quality of The Balvenie down the years.

It's been over a decade since we've revisited the Balvenie range. From the 12 Year Old, right up to the venerable 30 year old expression, the house style emerges as one of the lightest and most delicate to be found from Speyside with almost no peat evident. Following the success of the limited edition Port Wood 1989, David Stewart, Balvenie's Malt Master has continued to select a number of traditional whisky casks of Balvenie considered perfect for further maturation in Port Pipes. It is for many critics and drinkers the quintessential Balvenie expression, winning numerous Gold Medals and the trophy for Best Whisky in Class at the 2009 International Wine and Spirits Competition.

Tasting note: Bright gold appearance. A gorgeous, lifted bouquet features a cherry-chocolate top note over deeper scents of vanilla and oak. Cherry-chocolate remains the signature note even after extended exposure. Like the 15 Year Old, this is a light to medium bodied, seamlessly integrated Speyside dram, with a graceful mouthfeel. The Port Wood adds suggestions of dark chocolate and hints of marzipan. Spices pulse delicately at the finish before the drying cocoa aftertaste. A wood finish executed with a soft touch. 40% Alc./Vol.

'Some of these finishes can be overdone and the whisky spoiled by an unsubtle use of the second wood, but this was created by the hand of a master. Delicate port wine flavours dance around the inherent spirit quality in a mesmerising and quite beguiling fashion...this is a stellar achievement.' - Ian Buxton, 101 Whiskies to Try Before you Die.

Other reviews…. The Balvenie Aged 21 Years Port Wood (88.5) t22 Salivating and on the money malt wise with the juicy chewiness a lot fresher than the nose would have you believe; f22.5 busy, multi layered with some lovely praline amid the soft grape; b22 beautiful subtle malt… Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2011