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Monday, 7 July 2008

The (Sig)Nature vs Nurture Debate


The Balvenie is a distillery that I owe a lot to. It was about four years ago in an airport somewhere in the USA where I was offered some Balvenie DoubleWood, fell in love with it and in turn fell in love with Whisky. Still a great session dram of mine, I was thus excited when the new Signature bottling was released. This new edition was matured in THREE casks; sherry, first fill bourbon and refill sherry casks. Sounds great. And currently on offer at Oddbins for £25!?! Yes, please! Let’s get involved with the tasting...

The Balvenie - Signature – 12 YO - OB - First Batch - Limited Release - 70cl - 40% vol

Nose: Used cigarette butts. Dried apricots. Very moist Christmas cake.

Palate: butter. apricots again. salty and bitter. weak tea.

Finish: Very salty and very bitter with hints of black pepper. Not well balanced at all.

Overall: The nose starts off well, being rich and fruity. Once in the mouth, the weakness of this dram really lets it down. I find it unbalanced and dull, with the apricot overpowering everything and a real bitterness appearing. The finish is the worst with the bitterness and salt completely overpowering any interesting notes that this release blends together. Even at £25 a bottle, this limited release is a real let down.