The Balvenie 30yo “Thirty” (47.3%, OB, Circa 2011)

After the young and very affordable Benromach, we are now going to look at a Balvenie that isn’t young nor affordable. For this expression, the story is that David Steward hand-picks some exceptional casks that are more than 30 years old. Casks that once held Bourbon as well as ex-Sherry casks. How unusual. These casks are then blended together and after a while bottled. Quite a surprising technique. A shame though, that only 30 years and older casks could be used for this expression, because the public demands Whiskies with an age statement… Nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Quite unfair of me actually, since The Balvenie bottle a whole lot of Whiskies with an age statement…

The Balvenie 30yo ThirtyColor: Light orange gold.

Nose: Funky, but in a good way. Sherried with Haagse Hopjes (Dutch coffee flavoured candy). Bad breath and old elegant wood often go together. Creamy. A distinguished gentleman, and after the Benromach “Organic” you know this will hurt your bank-account. Freshly sawn wood and hints of saw dust. Vanilla and some caramel. Powdered candy. Sometimes whiffs of Marmite and lavas float by. Actually, this doesn’t smell as old Whisky as I’ve expected. It smells like an old yet modern Whisky. Well balanced, but quite a lot of wood in the nose.

Taste: Sweet powdered candy, but also fruity. Sherry with cherries and other red fruits like raspberries. Thick toffee and slightly acidic. Acidity from fruits but also acidity you get from (freshly sawn old) oak. Not as complex in the taste as I expected. Coffee, cask toast and quite warming. Some bitterness towards the finish though.

A good, but not super-premium-great Balvenie. For this kind of money you can do better I guess. Just have a look at some of the TUN-versions that are around. Nevertheless, a more than decent Balvenie, period.

Points: 87


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