Balblair is a beautiful little distillery up in the northern Highlands. We had the pleasure to visit on our trip up that way, basing ourselves in Inverness, way back in 2015. Like Old Pulteney, AnCnoc and Speyburn, it is owned by Inver House Distillers. Built back in 1790, it is one of the oldest distilleries still in operation and frankly one of the most beautiful sites to which we’ve ever been. We can’t wait to go back.
This is a bottle of the 2000 vintage, bottled in 2017 before the owners decided to move away from vintages back to age statements. In a vintage expression, all the whisky dates from the same year, rather than age statements where only the youngest whisky is indicated. Balblair used to describe it beautifully as “[representing] an exact moment in time”; the spirit’s just as good, but personally it saddened us when they moved away from vintages. For this release, the whisky was initially matured in American oak ex-bourbon barrels, before a time in Spanish oak sherry butts, bottled natural colour, unchill-filtered and at 46% ABV.
This is a beautiful dram to come back to after a couple of years - it’s an incredible, summery dram, which is nice with spring hopefully just round the corner. A waft of heather honey dominates the centre palate, with a wash of sweet but gentle stone and orchard fruits around, before you encounter the soft cereal, slightly malty base. All the flavours blend together and complement each other, with also a hint of perhaps milk chocolate raisins. There is a mentholic spice to the long finish. Overall, think of a deliciously rich raisin and honey cornflake (not rice crispy) cake or breakfast bar eaten on a sunny spring morning. Although the cake is rich, the dram is light and fresh, equally as good as an aperitif or with lighter desserts. A truly beautiful dram with which to look forward to the summer and all it may yield! Slàinte! #WhiskyWednesday #WhiskyWednesdays #Whisky #Whiskey #SingleMalt #SingleMaltWhisky #HighlandWhisky #ScottishHighlands #Balblair #BalblairDistillery #Scotch #WhiskyGram #InstaDram #Scotland #Scottish #Slàinte