And here is another entry-level whisky by the same owners as Glenfiddich. I guess Glenfiddich was (not anymore) the poor man’s Single Malt Whisky and The Balvenie is the more posh one. Even Glenfiddich started to churn out Vintage Releases from the seventies, that have a heft price tag. Balvenie makes about half the amount of Whisky Glenfiddich makes and with that still is a top ten seller. So William Grant & Sons have two golden goose’s on hand.
When looking around. and being new to Single Malts I almost fell in love by the shape of the bottle and really liked the way their labels looked. Not a lot to choose then. There was this 10yo (Founders Reserve), a 12yo (Double Wood), a 15yo (Single Cask), a 21yo (Port Wood) and a 25yo (Single Cask). And there was one limited oddity, the 17yo (Islay Cask). Nothing more. Today like with others there is more choice than ever. Lets have a look at the cheapest Balvenie, the 10yo “Founders Reserve”…
Nose: Perfumy and powdery. Almonds and lemons. Apple pie. Hint of wood. Creamy. banana and cookie dough. Syrupy. Sweet and light.
Taste: Sweet and very fruity. Cardboard. Very short finish. Sweet but very light. Hints of smoke? Hints of wood and wood-shavings that give it just a little bit of character. Vanilla ice-cream.
First of all I have to admit it was a very long time since I’ve had those standards like this one and Glenfiddich 12yo. I almost never have a whisky that’s 40% ABV, or it has to be a very old Gordon & MacPhail bottling. So I’ve become very much detached of these standards. With that I may become a bit decadent and in memory unappreciative of these whiskies. Having said that I have to admit that these two whiskies surprised me a lot with their quality and taste. Nice stuff. There is one big if. These type of malts seems to me are so easily drinkable, that you would drink them the way you drank lemonade when you were a kid. These types of malts make alcoholics out of us 😉
Compared to Glenfiddich 12yo “Special Reserve”, both are different styles. This is sweet and fruity. Nothing more. Glenfiddich is more honest in style, more of a Lowlander I would say. I thought Glenfiddich was better.