The 4th batch was released in 2012 for the Travel Retail market at select locations across the globe. Although you’d say it would be more available then, the current price is about € 800 for a bottle, compared to the € 500 of Batch 3.
This batch once again consists of 7 American oak bourbon barrels and 3 sherry butts. The age varies between 1966 and 1988, so a slightly older blend if you only count the extremes. That sentence was a waste of everyone’s time…
Fresh and spicy with a hint of provencal herbs like thyme and rosemary. Some toasted oak as well and very complex. The scent gets warmer and warmer but not as rich as the previous batch. Honey, mint and maybe some anise. I also get old library and a burning hearth.
The palate is rather light and right in the middle between thick and thin. Fairly spicy with crushed black peppercorns and chili peppers. Honey sweetness and a touch of wood, fruit and rather hard to pin down. The fruitiness is tough to pin down and is mostly a rather tropical sweetness in the background.
The finish is suddenly very rich, spicy honey, wood and allspice. Long and rich and complex with a touch of resin.
Hmm. What to say? The finish is a surprise, but with all the jumps this one is less consistent than the previous one so I guess so far I prefer the third batch. This has some really nice touches and I think the individual bits of nose, palate and finish are preferable but it just feels like it doesn’t know where it wants to go.
Balvenie Tun 1401, Batch 4, Travel retail only, 50.4%. No longer available, but if you find it in an auction, be prepared to sell a family member.