It’s not really a well known distillery in The Netherlands. As in, you can get it but that’s about it. Not many shops stock Balblair, and especially the older vintages somehow tend to be skipped. It’s a shame, since there’s some really, really good booze coming from the guys up in Edderton.
I visited the distillery in 2013, when I was on holiday there with the misses and my daughter. We had a lovely time even though I had already spent most of my whisky budget and didn’t pick up the handfilled available there. Silly me, I know.
So, there have been some twitter tastings, a few samples here and there, but my collection has not often been graced with Balblair until recently. Through bottle sharing I
have had three all of a sudden. I finished one this weekend, of which a review will follow, and I also finally tried this one. A 30 year old from a decade ago. That means it’s been distilled in 1975, like their epic vintage release.
A light scent of malt, dunnage warehouse and sawdust. That old, slightly moldy oak scent is present too. Some fresh peaches and apricots, and dried ones too. Quite fresh. Maybe some mint as well. Lots of old oak, which is a very good thing. Dusty, like an old attic. Oh, and hessian.
Sweet wood, I’d say white oak with old bourbon cask influences. Slightly peppery, and other spices. Lots of fresh and dried fruits again. Mainly peaches and apricots. Lots of oak, but all in a good way and not overpowering. Quite, well, ‘rustic’. It becomes a bit syrupy after a while, with more fruit juices coming through.
The finish has a bit more woody spices. Pepper, maybe some cinnamon and ginger. It mellows quickly and the attic, hessian and ‘attic scents’ remain longest. Ah the oak of course.
Well, this is awesome and honestly a lot better than I expected and hoped. Especially what this is going for in auctions it’s quite a good deal (little under € 200 if I’m not mistaken).
It’s a style of whisky that’s becoming increasingly rare and precious. Because of that I’m glad this little bottle share didn’t sell out completely! I’m thoroughly going to enjoy finishing this bottle!
The fruit, spices and oak make this a true highland whisky and almost has an old Clynelish character, minus the wax, and it’s just awesome.
Balblair 1975-2006, 30yo, 46.2%, Jack Wiebers Prenzlow Portfolio Collection. Sometimes available in auctions for around € 200