This event took place a little while ago, but I didn’t write a report of this, with YouTube video’s enhanced twitter tasting for my own blog. It was a twitter tasting in Dutch organised by the people of a fellow whisky club in the Netherlands and they planned to organize some more twitter tastings in the future (Already signed in for two more twitter tastings in 2012). This evening the subject was The Balvenie and in the video’s the Dutch brand manager Tony van Rooijen explained all about the whiskies to be tasted. It certainly gave an extra dimension to this type of tastings. Enough small talk, what did we taste that evening ?
The heaviest ABV to start the tasting with ? The nose comes out with a lot of candy, sugared barley, vanilla, honeyed sweetness as in breakfast cereals. After a while some citrus notes (light lemon) and a small hint of coastal saltiness appears. The taste is quite spicy at first but fading out in more honeyed sweetness with soft sweet fruit tones. Some coffee appears also. The finish isn’t giving more flavours, more of the same. Not extremely complex. Nice dram : points 82.
Double wood 40% ABV
Less powerful then the single barrel, seems quite closed, due to following a dram with a higher ABV. Very sweet, with hints of olorosso sherry influence. Simple but pleasant. The taste is soft, sweet and easy with a little drying influence of the sherry cask. A slight hint of sulphur (positive way) appears in the background. The finish is quite easy, soft and sweet. While this is one of the whiskies I started off with, I can see the evolving progress of my taste. At this time it is a great whisky to start your whisky career with, but to me at this moment it is lacking complexity and evolving flavours. Points 74.
Portwood 21 year old 40% ABV
This one is finished for about 3-6 months on a port cask. Due to its age it is quite closed, but the nose displays the fortified wine influence strongly (red fruits), but also some old wood or old book smells appears. Some oriental spices like cinnamon and exotic fruits (papaya) appears while the dram opens up. The taste is silky smooth and sweet with a slight nutty influence. The finish is quite short and has an off note in it which I can’t describe. Not bad, but disappointing, the port influence isn’t present enough for me. I think the finishing period was to short, but overall it is still a very nice dram: Points 80.
This one is a marriage off whisky matured on three different casks, Olorosso Cask, First fill American Oak and Refill American Oak. The nose is extremely interesting, there is a nice fight going on between the different wood influences. Lots of vanilla, caramel and dried fruits appear along with orange marmalade or orange filled chocolate. Quite sweet again, but also with a spicy edge. The taste displays the olorosso influence more, will do great with a nice piece of dark chocolate. Just a little bit bitterness (tannins) and spiciness appears. More complex and thus very enjoyable to figure this one out. The finish is despite its somewhat low ABV quite long and playful enjoyable. Interesting dram. Points 84.
Very good organised tasting. The drams are showing off their heritage. The basic flavours are quite the same. Will I still have to finish a bottle of Double Wood I wouldn’t buy a new bottle due to my evolving taste over the last one and a half year. Both the Double Wood as the Signature are great whiskies to start off in whisky and are very enjoyable, but I started to like more profound flavours and/or more complexity.