Whisky Advocate

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

5 Responses to “The Balvenie “Golden Cask” vs. “17 yr. Rum Cask””

  1. David K. says:

    John, do you think blending the two together would work at all? Or if not these two, maybe the 17 year old with another younger, harsher whiskey to round it out?
    Sorry, I don’t have either bottle to try this out, but maybe you would like a try?

  2. John Hansell says:

    I did blend the two together just for fun, and I did find a mix that was better than the individual parts, but I don’t remember what the relative percentage was. (I wasn’t being that analytical at the time. It was more for fun.)

  3. Neil Fusillo says:

    Excellent. Luckily I’m headed out of the country next month. I’ll have to see about grabbing some.

  4. Louis says:

    Hi John,

    The Golden Cask sounds promising, especially at the quoted price, but that leads to another issue. For those of us who do NOT travel outside of the US, the Travel Retail bottlings are tantalizing out of reach. Of course, we can always ask family and friends that do travel to bring us back a bottle or two, but it can be hard to keep up with all of the latest choices.

    So here is an opportunity for the Malt Advocate to help. Would it be possible to keep a list of TR bottlings on the website? A link to the blog or Buyers Guide entry for each would be useful as well.

    Slainte.

    Louis

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