Balblair 1966 38yo (44.0%): A couple of weeks ago while I was visiting Istanbul I was lucky enough to be the guest of Istanbul Whisky Society for an informal tasting... I had the chance to reconnect with some of their members, meet new ones and also finally put a face to some names I was exchanging messages with for years. We tasted some tasty whiskies, swapped stories and geeked out about whisky for hours. Thanks to their generosity I left the evening with some incredible samples like this one on my desk waiting to be poured today... The casks this Balblair expression is vatted from are distilled in 1966 and the whisky is bottled in September 2004 when they were 38 years old after spending its entire life in various Spanish oak casks. At the end 2400 bottles in total are released. It will be by far the oldest Balblair I have ever tasted.
Color: Clear polished copper, orange blossom honey with fat, oily and very slow legs.
Nose: Old leather stationary, passion fruit and green apples. Beeswax, fresh spearmint leaves and vintage hardwood furniture. Eucalyptus soap bars, mothballs and brand new rubber sole sneakers. Gorgeous nose... Definitely shows its age but incredibly fresh, not tired or woody at all. Red gummi bears and raspberry sorbet. A couple drops of water amplifies naphthalene and menthol.
Palate: Oh my... Red fruits extravaganza to start with: Cranberry juice, raspberries and redcurrant jam. Creamy and luscious. It gets tart in the mid-palate: Passion fruit, unripe Anjou pears and Granny Smith apples. Old decaying wood... With the addition of some water we get candied lemon peel, sour cherries and less wood.
Finish: Not very loud but it is long enough to follow the fade out of cranberries and passion fruit. Some damp black gardening soil and table grapes got added as well.
Overall: Well, what can I say..? Stunning whisky... Not overcooked by any means, perfect combination of red and green fruits, wood and menthol. It is sweet, fruity and tart. One of the best whiskies I tasted this year. Many thanks to the members of Istanbul Whisky Society for the sample.
|July 5th, 2019 - Istanbul Whisky Society (IWS) gathering|