The Balvenie “Golden Cask” vs. “17 yr. Rum Cask”March 4th, 2009
The Balvenie Golden Cask, 14 year old, 47.5%, $62/L
Gold color (as its name suggests), with a hint of copper. This whisky, which was finished in Caribbean rum casks, follows on the heels of the limited edition The Balvenie 17 yr. old Rum Cask. The 17 yr. old was pleasant enough, but quite sweet (I rated it an 80). This new Golden Cask is an improvement, because the higher alcohol level along with an array of dried spice helps to balance the sweet rum notes. Lively, bright tangerine, nectarine and pineapple combine with Balvenie’s signature honey, nougat, Heath Bar, light molasses and milk chocolate. Dried spice (vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg) and gritty oak resin kick in on the finish, rounding everything out quite nicely. Now if we could only have the best of both worlds—the balance of the Golden cask 14 yr. old, and the maturity of the 17 yr. old. That could be a whisky worthy of a 90s rating. (Exclusive to Travel Retail.)
Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 86
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