Whisky Advocate

New Balvenie for Travel Retail

January 2nd, 2009

pic11478.jpgBalvenie seems to have a rum wood finish thing going on right now. A little while back they released a Balvenie 17 year old Rum Cask as part of their limited-edition 17 year old releases. Now, they are going to be selling a Balvenie GoldenCask 14 year old in Travel Retail beginning in February for about £40. The whisky will be bottled at 47.5% ABV.

The Balvenie Malt Master David Stewart had this to say in a recent Moodie Report:

The result of this unusual finishing period in rum casks has created an interesting new Balvenie expression with a fruity sweetness and subtle spice that I hope malt whisky enthusiasts will enjoy.

It will be interesting to see how this compares to the 17 yr old Rum Cask.

7 Responses to “New Balvenie for Travel Retail”

  1. Jon W. says:

    I’m very curious about this one too. I usually love Balvenie, but was disappointed with the Rum Cask. In general I agree with your review, that the whisky is overly sweet. To me it started off great on the nose, but the rest of it didn’t hold up. Way overpriced in my opinion (thanks for bringing a bottle to your Monks tasting, you saved me $130).

    But a higher ABV at a lower price has me drooling. 14 vs 17 doesn’t bother me.

    Any idea when this will hit shelves (and where)? I know some people who travel internationally regularly and it might be time to call in a favor…

  2. John Hansell says:

    Jon W., The report on it just said February in Travel Retail. I’ll see if I can get more information (and a review sample).

  3. Bryan says:

    I’ve never tried a rum finished whisky. How would you describe it’s effect on the Balvenie, or on other scotch in general?

  4. John Hansell says:

    Bryan, it usually makes the whisky sweeter. That’s okay if it is done lightly or if there’s something to balance the sweetness (like some dry oak spice), but it isn’t always the case.

  5. B.J. Reed says:

    The Balvanie 17 YO Rum Cask is sweet but not unpleasant – Nice to compare to the 12 YO Springbank Rum Cask as well as the Glenfiddich Havana Reserve or there more recent Caribbean Rum bottling especially since Glenfiddich and Balvanie are “sister” distilleries. Have to find someone traveling to try the 14 YO….

  6. butephoto says:

    I generally find Balvenie to be a little too sweet and I can only imagine that one matured in a rum cask is going to be even more so.

  7. John Hansell says:

    BJ, I agree with you on the 17: sweet but not unpleasant. Have to be in the right mood for it, thought (e.g. after dinner).

    butephoto, I guess you gotta try it and decide for yourself. Balvenie releases run the whole range of flavors, from bourbon-oak aging to sherry, port, rum, and others. Some of the older vintages aren’t sweet at all, but rather quite spicy and very complex.

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