Balblair 1996-2018, 54.4% – OB for La Maison du Whisky


The image from the website, which isn’t the actual bottle.

I love Balblair. I liked them before, but ever since I visited them in 2013, I really loved them. However, I somehow barely ever buy a bottle. Some, but not a lot. Which I tried to remedy a little bit with a sample from this heavily sherried unit bottled for La Maison du Whisky.

LMdW, as it is known, is not a cheap shop. They’re in Paris, which is not a cheap city, which is a bit of an excuse. However, when they bring out a private bottling, you know you’re going to pay for it. Having said that, they do generally bottle some awesome quality hooch.

So, a heavily sherried Balblair from 1996 with 21 or 22 years of aging to it. I was enthusiastic about it right away. I’m not entirely sure what I paid for the sample, but it is still available for 185 euros, which I think is a fairly okay price for this kind of whisky.


Now this has some color to it!

Lots of sweet sherry and coarse oak. Cigars, wood spices, clove and cinnamon. Some slight bitterness and some dried plums and coffee.

A lot of pepper and sharpness. Bitter oak and sherry. Dried plums, coffee, with a lot of spice. Cinnamon, clove, pink peppercorns. Very intense.

Dry and surprisingly spicy. Full on on the cigars and oak. Some earthiness, with cinnamon, clove and dark rye bread.

Having tried this whisky over a couple of sittings, I can confirm that the 185 euros for it is justified. Even though I don’t want to spend any money right now, I am considering clicking the buy button. I won’t, but if you’re in the game of spending this kind of money on whisky, this is not a bad buy at all.

Highly recommended!


Balblair 1996-2018, 1st fill Spanish Oak Butt Finish, cask 022, 54.4%, OB for La Maison du Whisky. Available for € 185


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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