Balblair 1991 & 2000 Vintages

by Robbie

Image from Balblair Distillery

Balblair, the renowned Highland Whisky distiller nestled in the Dornoch Firth, has released two exclusive additions to its acclaimed collection.

The new 2000 and 1991 editions will add gravitas to any whisky collection and the joint release is the culmination of a meticulous maturation process overseen by Balblair’s respected distillery manager, John MacDonald.

His hand-selection of casks is in keeping with Balblair’s traditions of precision and purity. MacDonald considers the 2000 and 1991 editions to be whiskies that will appeal to connoisseurs, but that are also accessible for more casual whisky drinkers.

Explaining the characteristics and complexities that make the new vintages must-haves, he said:

“On the palate, the new 2000 edition’s richness comes through in its slightly oily texture with ground spices and old hardwood providing the initial flavour hit.

“It matures to flavours of pineapple, bitter orange peels and honey, and finishes slowly with lasting sweetness, creaminess and notes of bitter chocolates.

“The 2000 has been matured for 13 years in American oak, ex-bourbon casks and five years in first fill Spanish oak butts. It is a whisky full of character and life and deserves a place in any discerning drinker’s arsenal.”

The 1991 vintage, matured for 24 years in ex-bourbon American oak casks, with a further three years in first fill Spanish oak butts, it is a dram designed to impress your guests – whisky aficionado or novice.

“Bright amber in colour with rose gold highlights, the nose is expansive and complex with rich citrus fruits and vanilla notes as well as toffee and chocolate,” John explains.

“Notes of honey, winter spices and apricot, with a hint of liquorice are imparted from the bourbon barrels and Spanish oak butts used in the maturation process.

“The palate features our signature citrus orchard flavour profile and is followed with rich creamy chocolate and layers of poached apples and pears, Christmas pudding and hot vanilla sauce. It finishes with sparkling orange and toasted coconut overtones accentuating full-bodied sweetness of vanilla and caramel creating a rich and celebratory dram.”

I was lucky enough to get my hands on the Vintage Balblair 2000 2nd release, and even though I class myself as a non-whisky drinker, I found it to be slightly more to my taste than other Whisky I have tried. Upon opening the bottle, the first thing that struck me was the how sweet and fruity the scent was. Having a sweet tooth this eased me into the tasting where the notes on the palette were almost caramel dessert like with a zesty kick and slightly spicy. Finally, to finish I found the Vintage Balblair 2000 2nd Release to have a taste of honey which was complimented by a spicy kick and the presence of tannins throughout. All in all this for me is a very drinkable Whisky for those who are just finding their feet with Whisky but also a delightful dram for those who love and live whisky.

Balblair Distillery is the oldest working distillery in the Scottish Highlands, initially established in 1749 and the first official records of it from 1790. The distillery building and its warehouses sit on the original site to this day. Balblair has been making premium whisky since 1790 and lets its whisky take the lead: it is only bottled when it’s ready. With expert insight and knowledge from one of the country’s most respected distillery managers, you too can let your whisky collection do the talking and showcase your impeccably educated whisky palate.

Sláinte.

The 2000 and 1991 Balblair vintages retail at £70 and £125 respectively and can be found here.

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