Blind Tasting Competition 11: Balblair 23, 1990-2013, 46%

Well this sucks. I had the entire post lined up yesterday. WordPress usually saves everything you do, resulting in way too many fake drafts and this time it just decided to not do that. So I lost my post, and more importantly, I lost my tasting notes.

What follows below is from the top of my head. Notes I remember in my struggle for points.

I’m kind of bummed out and don’t really understand what happened, since I did everything exactly the same as the other days on which I posted in the morning. Way to go for this new WordPress admin environment.

Sniff / Sip / Swallow:
The nose was fairly light at first, with some (highland?) beefy notes in the background. Some gentle notes of oak and some spices like gari (pickled ginger) without the vinegar taste. There are some notes of fruit but apart from peach I don’t remember them.

The whisky goes down like water so I’m expecting 43% or 46% here, and because of the beefy sherry notes I got. The beefy notes were accompanied by some hints of charcoal (mind: no smoke or so).

I didn’t really, really like this whisky. For some reason it came across as being a bit dull. The 46% felt weaker than it actually is and all flavors and scents are rather subdued. Regarding the wood notes, I didn’t think this whisky too old since there was some oak but not overly much. It was all rather timid so I went for a mid teens dram.

In the end I picked Glengoyne. I couldn’t really decide and actually knew this would not be it. But with the other well knows sherried brands from the Highlands I didn’t have a good feeling either. GlenDronach wasn’t it since this was too light. Dalmore is too weak in ABV. Ben Nevis is more rugged, and so I had more.

I never even considered Balblair mostly because I didn’t think they had any sherry bottlings out except for the really old ones and the TWE one which was much darker. And they are known for the really good bourbon casks (to me at least). Also, I generally like Balblair much than I did this time.

Of course, that was it. I was also way off in age, and enough off in ABV to not get any points there, so in the end it all came down to getting some region points again. The parachute has unfolded after three days of free falling from 4th to 18th place. Let’s hope today I can actually go up again.

Balblair 23, 1990-2013, 46%.


About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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