The Balvenie New Wood 17 year old, 43%

Price: $90 Issue: Winter 2006 Reviewer: John Hansell

The tell-tale rich honeyed Balvenie personality is spiced up by finishing it off in new charred oak casks, making a normally masculine whisky even bigger. The honeyed malt impacts the palate first, with intermediate notes of citrus fruit, followed by dried spices (cinnamon, vanilla, ginger, and cocoa). The new oak impact is most evident on the whisky's long, dry, spicy finish. A nice whisky, but perhaps a tad too much new oak for greatness?