The Balvenie Peat Week 2003 Vintage Review

You know how it goes…

A new whisky enters your life, and an old one gets pushed to the back of the booze cabinet, and as more new bottles come into the fold, that older whisky goes out of sight and is possibly forgotten. Then one day, you realize that you have to finish some of the nearly all-gone whisky and dispose of the bottles lest your Better Half read you the riot act should more new bottles enter the house.

This exact scenario is how we arrived at today’s review, i.e. Limpd cleaned out his booze cabinet to make room for some new purchases and discovered this bottle of The Balvenie Peat Week 2003 Vintage with just enough left for two whisky fiends such as ourselves to review.

Before we get to the review, here’s what The Balvenie has to say about this expression:

The Balvenie Peat Week Aged 14 Years (2002 Vintage) is the result of trials undertaken in 2001 by The Balvenie Malt Master David C. Stewart MBE and our former distillery manager Ian Millar.

At a time when few Speyside distilleries were using peat in production, The Balvenie decided to distil a batch of heavily peated malt, which was laid down to mature at the distillery in Dufftown, Scotland.

Ever since then we’ve dedicated one week each year, named Peat Week, to using 100% Highland peat to dry our barley. Instead of coastal elements of iodine, salt and medicinal characteristics so commonly associated with Islay peat, Highland peat imparts earthy, woody smoke notes. This means that even though Peat Week is made using heavily peated malt (30ppm) it has an unexpected sweetness deeply rooted in the Speyside regional character.

The Balvenie Peat Week Aged 14 Years (2002 Vintage) is a single vintage bottling, limited and rare by nature. This non-chill filtered expression is bottled at 48.3% ABV and matured solely in American Oak casks, providing a velvety and round taste with woody peat smoke balancing oaky vanilla and honey.

We don’t know about you, but from the sounds of it, this whisky definitely ticks all of our boxes. Limpd was obviously a fan because he (a) bought it, and (b) drank more than his fair share of it (it was HIS whisky after all). The question is, what would I think of it? To get both of our impressions of this limited Balvenie expression, click the play button on the following video:

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