Balvenie 14 year old Caribbean Cask
£43.05 at MasterOfMalt
Peaches, cream, apricot, pineapple, apple, vanilla, honey, talcum powder floral. The nose is very complex, rich and downright gorgeous.
A fruit salad. Oily fulfilling mouthfeel. All the fruits from the nose plus more tropical notes. Honey, vanilla, creamy. A little pepper. Easy and smooth at 43%. I don’t know if it is because the Whisky is quite warm with the weather as hot as it is and that makes any difference, but this is really good stuff.
Medium – long. The fruit sticks around, a little pepper. The the fruit is still lingering. It’s sweet and long lasting, some floral talcum is there as well as a little wood residue.
A small drop added. The floral is increased with the fruit taking more of a backstep. The palate is reduced in the mouthfeel department but is otherwise minimally effected with the water addition. The finish is slightly sweeter, but not quite as long. All in all. Personally. I prefer without water.
It’s the first Balvenie I’ve tried (with the exception of a swig of double wood at a Xmas party), and I have to say I really like it. It’s deliciously fruity, moreish and I’m hungry now to try more of the series.
Bowmore 15 year old Darkest
Sherry Finished Islay Malt
£46.17 from MasterofMalt
Bonfires! Dark fruits. Raisins, sultanas. Sherry influence is prominent on the nose, the smoky peat bonfires are on the backburner(!). But they are there and a very pleasant addition they are! A little time in the glass though and they switch places with the bonfires coming forward and the fruit being scorched in the embers. It keeps changing. Very intriguing. Definitely some coffee in the mix. More time in the glass and the sherried fruit is dominant again. It’s a switcheroo of a dram!
Quite a bit of sweet fruit, raisins, sultanas are here up front and not a lot of Islay, not a bad thing as I will conclude. But if your a smoke head then this may be a little disappointing. The development goes onto a little pepper, more chewy coffee with the fruit. A little chocolate pops up and a little peaty earthiness and damp burning leaves.
Quite long. Damp grass. The peat earthiness is there all along. Some fruit stays for a little while. But peat and smoke of the bonfire variety lingers.
Not putting a lot in. The nose is more about the fruit and sherried malt now. Bonfires in the background again. The nose is lighter and more pleasant to smell with the addition of water. Lighter fruits are coming about as well. Some orange and citrus added to the mix. The palate has lost a little in the way of mouthfeel (understandable), but the tastes are easier to enjoy with the citrus notes joining in the enhanced fruity taste mix. The finish is much the same, long with fruity smoke piles. It’s worth a small drop of water in this one, though it does make the dram go down very very easily!
I think this is a very pleasant. Easy, yet complex dram. A very good introducer to someone who likes sherried/speyside whiskies or a beginner, who hasn’t experienced Islay yet. It’s not one of the big Islay experiences, but its a nice introduction and definitely a nice variation for someone like me who is a bit of a sherry head wanting an alternative experience.