On a recent trip to the Balvenie distillery in the Speyside region I stayed in a hotel with an incredibly well stocked whisky bar.
That is where I first tried this great whisky from the Glenlivet range. A 16 year old cask strength bottled at a mighty 54.8% ABV.
I saw this again in the supermarket while buying a present for my brother (a bottle of one of my favourites the Balvenie Signature which sadly is going out of production).
I decided to buy a bottle for review to see if it lived up to the memory from my recent trip, or whether the whisky haze had marred my taste buds!
What the bottle Says
As a non-chill filtered whisky it should have a distinctive creamy texture and mouth feel. Matured in first fill oak casks it is rich and rewarding preserving the flavour of the malt. The box says the nose is fresh and floral with sweet spice which is smooth and silky on the pallet with soft fruit and honey taste and a long dry oak finish containing ginger and hazelnuts.
Colour: Golden is about the right word
Nose: Creamy and slightly chocolaty, hazelnuts and spicy
Taste: Nutty, hazelnuts, spice, honey, chocolaty with a creaminess moving to full bodied oak.
Finish: Thick spicy, rich, long with a slight nuttiness
Nose: Spice comes through strongly now with small floral notes and more honey and nuts. There is also a little citrus or lemon in here as well but only very slight.
Taste: More oak and woodiness, more spice although hard to place the exact spice but its rich and still creamy becoming sweet
Finish: Oak is strong and it has a long smooth finish
Nose: Sweeter, still plenty of spice but more floral now
Taste: As you would expect adding water to a cask strength whisky makes is softer and it is still wonderfully smooth and rich with all the creaminess of before
Finish: slightly shorter but mellow and rich
This is a great whisky that develops more with each glass and I would certainly recommend a bottle. It is smooth and rich which great depths.
However it is priced at about £50 which is a little on the expensive side for this dram. Aficionados of Glenlivet will love this spicy number as it is a little different.
It is also unlike many whiskies of its age and so it gets a happy 6.5/10 only losing a point for the slightly high price tag. If you can find this on offer then buy it!