Distillery: The Balvenie
Expression: Triple Cask
Age Statement: 12 years old
Triple cask is one of the newer additions to the Balvenie range. Initially released for travel retail, this expression, which comes in a 12 and a 16 year old version, has aged in three different casks; Traditional whisky casks, first fill Bourbon barrels and Olorose sherry butts. Today, I’ll be tasting the 12 year old version. I picked this bottle up at an airport when I was traveling last year, after having tried both this and the 16 year old Triple Cask at the airport liquor store. At that time, I was more impressed with the 12 year old, so I bought that. It’s been quite a while since I tasted this, so I’m curious as to how I will like it now. The reception of this range seems to be quite varied among whisky lovers; some like it, some don’t. This is of course true for most whiskies, but the differences on both ends seem quite large for this one.
Nose: A nice, creamy aroma at first. Clear crisp barley malt, followed by a lovely Bourbon kick. Some sweet spice, maybe cinnamon, coming in, together with some soft oak. Soft, light fruit now. Apricot, plums perhaps, peach even. Vanilla sweetness and that soft spice seem a good fit here.
Taste: Quite a mellow arrival. The creaminess is still there, I really like that. Oak kicking in now, making it slightly sharper on the tongue. Cinnamon spice and vanilla sweetness help to bring that crisp malty note come forward too. I’m finding it hard to notice the fruit very clearly now. It reminds me more of processed fruit. It makes me think of a breakfast table; honey, lemon curd, marmalade, apricot jam, sweet spreads to put on your toast. Vanilla custard to be washed down with cinnamon tea.
Finish: I’m not overly impressed with the finish. The spice and oak, that would normally make sure of a lengthy finish, die out a little too quickly, leaving mostly sweet things like vanilla, malt and marmalade in the end. It’s nice, but it’s over quickly.
Overall: I’m glad I bought this. A very tasty dram indeed, with some interesting aspects. The creamy vanilla custard quality is something I haven’t tasted often. The crisp malt is truly Balvenie and the light spice and fruits are rather lovely. I won’t call this an absolute cracker of a whisky, but very enjoyable it is, nonetheless.
Rating: 3 stars