The Bombay Malt & Cigar gents and I first convened over a Balblair 38 year… so it was perfectly fitting this bottle joined our special birthday evening… even more so as it was my 50th birthday gift from the gents (a few years ago!). I simply had to wait for the right evening to share it with them! And, as my birthday gift, I also wanted to share it with our Whisky Ladies too – so I did just that a couple days later!
What did our gent think?
Balblair 18 year 46%
- Nose – Freshly opened, we were greeted with a bit of iodine and sea salt, then it shifted into fruity sweetness, ripe plums morphing into sugar plums, raisins and cream, sugar syrup… as it rested longer in the glass, a nice citrus twist emerged, waxy lemon polish… followed in time by fresh pear and honey
- Palate – Gorgeous, full and well rounded, delicious.. we had no more words as it just satisfied us fully – full stop.
- Finish – Beautiful, long and elegant
A classic highland dram. Completely worth the wait! It was an excellent reminder of why we’ve consistently enjoyed whiskies from this distillery over the years.
As for the ladies turn?
Balblair 18 year 46%
- Nose – Salty citrus – think of salted lime rind – that shifts into sweetness, cereals, loaded with honey, a hint of spice just adds to its allure… as it continued to open in our glass, the honey was joined by orchard fruits – particularly pear and fresh apples
- Palate – Absolutely superb! The kind of dram that fully satiates, elegant and classy.. While overall it is “sweetness and light” there is also substance, with enough elements to keep it interesting
- Finish – Long lasting with spice chased by an enjoyable bitterness
Narry a thought of adding a drop of water. We had a wee debate whether this was a spring, summer or autumnal whisky – all that mattered is the more we sipped, the more we enjoyed. Simply put this was a class act.
As one lady quipped “Pure seduction! With this who needs a date?”
What do the folks at Balblair have to say?
This late-night expression is rich and autumnal, developed and amplified to unexpected heights, while staying perfectly balanced and closely tied to the bright and fruity character of the Distillery.
- Colour – Oiled cedar
- Aroma – Rich toffee and baked pears shine bright against an elegant backdrop of new leather
- Palate – A masterful balance of juicy apricots, seasoned oak and vanilla custard
- Finish – Long and warming with chords of fresh spices and raisins
Matured initially in American oak ex-bourbon casks, followed by first fill Spanish oak butts, adding depth and charisma.
We opened this bottle in Mumbai in August 2021. When I last checked, you could still find this whisky at duty frees (do people even travel??) such as Le Clos at Dubai for AED 500 / $140.
I must say… I simply felt exceedingly blessed to have fabulous whisky companions and the care taken to chose such a perfect birthday gift!
What other Balblair‘s have we enjoyed?
- 99 46%
- 00 (2014) 46%
- 03 (2015) 46% 1st Release + Revisit with Karen Walker
- 05 (2015) 46% 1st Release
- 38 year (1966/2004) 44%
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