Whisky Review – The Balvenie 15 YO Single Barrel Sherry Cask

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By Jove they’ve done it again! Yet another Single Barrel release by The Balvenie, but this time around, they’ve gone the Sherry butt route. Here’s what the distillery has to say about this expression:

The Balvenie’s 15 year old Single Barrel Sherry Cask has been matured exclusively in a single European oak sherry but for at least 15 years. The 15-year maturation in a cask that has previously held Oloroso sherry create a single malt characteristized by dried fruit richness, nuttiness, and spice. No more than 650 hand-numbered bottles are drawn from each sherry butt and each bottle carries the number of the cask in which it was matured.  

And now for our review…

  • Appearance: Deep deep amber / ruddy brown color.
  • ABV: 47.8%
  • Aroma
    • Limpd: Hints of figs, raisins, sugar, Balsamic vinegar, and vanilla.
    • G-LO: Very rich and fruity on the nose. Dark, dried fruit abounds. I’m thinking dark brown sugar, cloves, and allspice. The Sherry influence is definitely there!
  • Taste
    • Limpd: Spicy and peppery with a mild sweetness. Heavy drying effect on the back end with a mild burn and a long finish.
    • G-LO: Much softer on the palate than I was expecting. Litte to no alcohol burn, i.e. very smooth and easy drinking. Dark dried fruit and dark brown sugar with a hint of cinnamon at the onset. Gets a bit spicier at the midpoint, but never overbearing. The finish is astringent with an almost high tannin red wine quality. Leaves you with a dark brown sugar and cinnamon aftertaste.

This definitely makes up for the mild disappointment that we experienced with the DoubleWood 17. We really appreciate the increased intensity from the higher ABV, as well as the full Sherry effect. Overall, this is a tasty whisky that is definitely worth trying.

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