Whisky Advocate

Review: Balblair 1991 Vintage

June 24th, 2010

This is a continuation from my review of the 1997 vintage recently. Both were just released to the U.S.

Balblair, 1991 Vintage, 43%, $130
Here’s the older sibling to the 1997 vintage released in U.S. at the same time. It costs twice as much as the 1997 vintage, and guess what? I like the less expensive, 1997 vintage better (because of its lovely balance and creamy texture). Still, this 1991 vintage is a nice whisky, rich with vanilla, coconut cream, citrus (orange, tangerine), pineapple, and sultana. A soothing, mouth-coating texture lingers, with some polished oak on the finish.

Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 85

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No Responses to “Review: Balblair 1991 Vintage”

  1. two-bit cowboy says:

    This is two days in a row you’ve said you prefer a younger whisky to its older sibling (Caol Ila 12 over the 18, yesterday). Maybe we’re on a roll here. I like it.

    • John Hansell says:

      It’s always a good thing when the younger (less expensive) expression tastes better than the older one does.

      • Sjoerd de Haan says:

        I think the current trend in the industry is that younger whiskies are getting better and better. The combination of the price of those being a bit lower (usually) makes for a welcome change.

        The Scotch industry has been hammering on age statements for too long. Now finally ‘everybody’ believes them and wants whiskies at high ages, and all of a sudden their stocks run out and you get more and more young whiskies and NAS whiskies.

        Not a bad thing, in my opinion, as long as it tastes good!

  2. Nabil Mailloux says:


    It is also good to see you continuing to make every effort to rate the whisky and not the label!

    “Vive le MaltAdvocate Libre!” as my favourite French General used to say.

  3. Shaun says:


    After trying both the ’91 & ’97 I happen to agree with you.

    The ’97, in my opinion, has a certain freshness & assertiveness that seems toned down in its’ older sibling.

    It seems that Balblair matures quickly. The 10yo G&M is also a very decent dram, even at only 40%.

  4. Shaun Farrier says:


    After trying both the ’97 and ’91 vintages I happen to agree with you.

    The ’97 has a certain freshness and assertiveness that seems toned down in its’ older sibling.

    It seems that Balblair matures quickly. The 10yo G&M is a very decent dram, even at a mere 40% abv.

    • Red_Arremer says:

      How’s the old OB 16 yo, Shaun?

      • Shaun Farrier says:


        In my opinion the 16yo OB was a solid dram overall, and a very decent value. It’s a mellow / soothing malt with subtle sweetness and more than a hint of spice. I ended up buying two of these bottles within a three year span, and neither lasted long in my cabinet.

  5. Andre Girard says:

    The vintage 1975 32yo bottling well worth the visit. I would prefer the 89 vintage than the 91.

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