Bouquet offers hints of mead, almonds, pencil eraser, coffee grounds, pork and old leather. Palate entry is intensely resiny, smoldering warm and waxy; at midpalate, taste explosions of honey, oloroso sherry, dark caramel, hard cheese, malted milk, and Christmas pudding treat the taste buds to an extraordinary library of flavors. Ends deliciously sweet and honeyed. The best Balvenie I’ve ever reviewed.
This is a big and brooding dram. The aroma suggests it is aged in both bourbon and sherry oak. It’s complex and richly flavored (sweeter up front and increasingly dry towards its finish), with notes of honey, candied fruit, thick cut marmalade, vanilla, almonds, and prominent spicy oak notes. I’m picking up plenty of sherry in this new expression, which I like. It finishes firmly dry, with notes of spice and tannin. (Vol. 14, #2)
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