The Balvenie 15yo 1983/1999 ‘Single Barrel’ (50.4%, OB, Bourbon Barrel #1300, 311 bottles)

Time for some more whisky then…

Let’s have a look at this old Balvenie. I have to say I don’t usually like Balvenie that much. I think that for me it lacks character and body. It’s usually a light whisky that is bottled at a relatively low ABV compared to other whiskies. This older 15yo is bottled at 50.4%, but more recent versions are bottled at a mere 47.8%. That having said. This 15yo and the original 21yo Portwood can be respectable whiskies, depending on the version you find. Still, I encounter the 15yo a lot, so I have the opportunity to try them on a regular basis and to me they don’t seem to get better, so if you want one, my tip to you would be: try to find an older one.

The Balvenie 15yo "Single Barrel" but not #1300Color: Light Gold

Nose: Vegetal, comes across as a very light and clean whisky. It’s powdery and the malt shines through. Dry wood. The cask didn’t give the whisky a lot of color, but is evident on the nose. After a while I get some lemony notes or maybe some lemon grass in combination with hot coco. Again I would use words like clean or fresh for this one.

Taste: Sweet and estery. Again the wood is there. It’s there from the start and I guess it will play a role for some time to come. Even the taste is clean, so if you like clean whiskies, this one is for you. Wow this one is very fruity now and does have some body. Prickly wood (not overpowering though), yellow fruits like dried apricots and peaches. Some bitter wood in the finish.

I would say this is a nice place to start drinking good malts. It’s decent and very easy to “analyze”. It’s clean and elegant and has some nice woody notes to show you what a cask can do. If you’re a connoisseur, well maybe this one’s a tad to easy. A friend of mine would say: “drinks well playing cards” Again, try to find an older one (50.4%). By the way, this is not cask strength. It is reduced to 50.4% to get more bottles out of a cask, or maybe the Balvenie drinkers like their 15yo a little lower than 57%. I’m not judging.

Points: 86

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