Whisky Review – Balvenie 15 Year Old Single Barrel (Sherry Cask)

Balvenie 15 Year Old Single Barrel (Sherry Cask)
47.8% ABV
Non Chill Filtered
£77.80 from MasterOfMalt

Yay. Sherry monster time.  Sweet, rich, thick sherried malt nose. Poached pears. Christmas cake. Rum and raisin. Light christmas spices, clove, cinnamon. Loads of Chocolate. Oranges. Hints of cherry.  This monster is heavy on the rich chocolate and fruit cake. There are touches of tropical fruits way in the background. All of which are smothered in melted dark chocolate. 
Gentle, rich arrival of chocolate, then a smash of spices hit, pepper, almost chilli chocolate, as the spice subsides we have layer upon layer of sticky fig pudding, chocolate, sherried berries, chocolate, Christmas cake and chocolate. Cloves. Luscious chocolate. Thick honey. Chocolate toffee. Oh yes, the  non-chill filtration is very evident in the mouthfeel, it’s very coating, and thick and chewy.  This is bloody lovely stuff. 
Medium length finish. Dry dark chocolate cocoa, dried fruit and spices. Some dusty dark chocolate is left behind, oh and a few crumbs of fruitcake. A little dried pineapple. 
Adding water.
A few drops added, though in honesty I’m loving it as it is. The nose has more of a nuttiness to it now, in conjunction with the previously observed aromas. The palate, has lessoned of the spice, and now has a more seamless arrival to development with tonnes of fruit and chocolate flavours,  possibly a tad less chocolate intensive, and with some nutty dryness late in the development.  The finish is drier, with more fruit and nut coming through. Personally I prefer this dram undiluted, but it does add a variation to try with and without water and make your own mind up, there are pros and cons to both variations. 
I may have said chocolate too many times, but this is a very chocolatey dram.  With many layers of additional complexities and chewable, so very chewable. This is really top notch stuff. Price wise, it is on the expensive side, but it is very lovely at the same time.  If you like sherried whisky, then this is one of those that should really hit your spot. Cracking dram. Personally preferred without water. 
Thanks to the Balvenie for the official sample