Balvenie 14 Year Old Peat Week
Non chill filtered
£56.95 from The Whisky Exchange
The Balvenie distill peated spirit only one week every year. This whisky is from that week in 2002, matured for 14 years in bourbon casks and released as a limited (but not that limited) extension to their core range. Bottled at a great 48.3% and non chill filtered, this is already looking great in writing, let’s try the liquid and see if it delivers.
First poured sniff gives a light, floral smoke driven aroma. Heather honey. Some lemon pip sweeties, slight vanilla and haystack. After a little time to settle in the glass the smoke gathers a small amount of intensity, a little earthier now, still floral, slightly green (imagine pine branch fires). Added citrus fruit juices and peel now, predominantly lemon, but also lime. The smoke is more reminiscent of twig built bonfires, with lots of foliage. Unlike the medicinal and maritime nature of an Islay peated whisky.
A sweet lemon juice arrival turning quickly more tarty, with some dry fennel and herbal notes coming through. This dram has a light oily mouthfeel. Runny honey accompanies a little liquorice root, and more lemon comes into the development in the form of lemon oils and a little pith. There’s a gentle smokiness coming through the whole of the palate, subtle, warming and gentle. Overall a beautiful balance.
The medium length finish has a spicy pepper bite, lemon oils continue with a smoky exhale. Warming and relaxing smokiness, reminding me of a relaxing cigarette (not that i smoke anymore, but a healthier reminder of such days!).
A few drops added. The nose is a little smokier, but different, more of an extinguished bonfire smoke. A little more floral, still quite citrus, more homemade lemonade and less of the natural fresh lemon juice. The palate reflects this also, the citrus is lighter and more akin to a homemade lemonade, the herbal notes more toned down, overall sweeter and more approachable. The finish is sweeter, less spice, and less of the dry herbal liquorice, more of a dilute herbal throat sweet. Maybe even a touch of lavender (Parma Violet). Very tasty with or without water, it’s one to experiment with, maybe a couple of glasses side by side, dilute one, compare and contrast.
It’s very good! This whisky is giving a great experience of fruit and smoke balance. It’s a very autumnal dram, perfect for these chillier nights. Really. Just perfect for this time of year. Highly recommended.
Thanks to The Balvenie for the official review sample.