Balblair 2002-2015, 55.1% – Handfilled at the distillery

Handfilled at the distillery, unfortunately not by myself. Balblair is a bit of a strange brand, from a Dutch perspective. The brand is known, but quite rare to see on the shelf of a regular bottle shop. Even most of the better whisky specialty shops don’t have many official bottlings knocking about.

However, ever since I visited the place in 2013, I’ve loved the distillery. It’s one of those distilleries that I consider under-represented in my collection. Something I should remedy. But, back to the opening paragraph of this post, I don’t see many bottles available where I shop.

Anyway, I got this sample. Not a clue from who or when, but most likely more than three years ago. I finally decided to finish it off.

The interesting combination of Balblair’s fruity sweetness, but with a strong fresh-bourbon sharpness. There’s an edge to this one. Freshly cut grass, crisp Granny Smith apples and star fruit. Even though it’s 12 or 13 years old, it doesn’t seem tamed yet.

The palate is very similar to the nose. Very dry and crisp with lots of youthfulness, but also rather sweet and fruity. A combination of those two makes an interesting dram, apparently. The fruitiness is mostly apple, star fruit and white grapes, maybe some unripe pears too.

The finish is, if possible, a bit more dry still. The sharpness leaves a nice tingle and bites a little bit less than before. Quite warming and autumnal.

A very interesting and tasty dram, if I may say so. One that plays good cop, bad cop on its own. It roughs up your palate a bit before the fruity sweetness kicks in. It happens to be the fruity style that I generally like (you might have noticed that in my reviews), and one that Balblair does very well at a younger age.

Now, I might have to start looking out for some older Balblairs.


Balblair 2002-2015, Bourbon Cask 1433, 55.1%, Handfilled at the distillery


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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