Balvenie Founder’s Reserve, 10 years old, 40%

During a whisky auction a few months ago I decided to browse the miniatures category for a change. I found a Balvenie Founder’s Reserve (the cognac bottle) which had almost nothing going for it so I decided I put a small bid in. I got it for € 3!

While I have never been a fan of Balvenie’s standard bottlings I thought I should taste this at some point, since it is supposed to be a whisky that got so many people interested in single malts in the first place.

Balvenie Founder's Reserve, miniature

Balvenie Founder’s Reserve, miniature

I didn’t write down too much info thinking there would be only one variety, but I am wrong. In this case it’s not 43% but 40% and there is an age statement (10yo) on the label. I have no clue to when it was bottled but I guess it would be some 20 years ago, since that is the periode where most of these bottles are from.

Sniff:
This is packing a lot more flavour than regular Balvenie bottlings from today, I can say that. A bit sharper and richer. Lots of honey, a bit of wood. It’s a bit dusty but rather crisp as well. A little bit of peppery heat and some alcohol.

Sip:
Light, with wood and vanilla. There’s quite a bit of tropical fruit as well. Pineapple, peach and it gets some spices a bit later too. Pepper, ginger, honey. Rather rich and syrupy.

Swallow:
The finish has some honey and oak. Quite long as well!

I can’t believe this has been watered down to 40% and still has this much flavour. It’s a shame they don’t make it like this anymore, since it’s a pretty delicious whisky.

What I like about this dram is that it becomes very clear where Balvenie gets its honey, fruit, spice and oak reputation from. I never get those big notes on current bottlings.

About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm a web developer at Emakina. I'm highly interested in booze, with a focus on whisk(e)y. I like to listen to loads of music and read quite some books. I'm married to Anneke, have a daughter Ot, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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