Balvenie 21 YO PortWood

Balvenie 21 YO PortWood

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Balvenie 21 YO PortWood, 40 %

Balvenie 21 YO PortWoodA classic Speyside giant is up for review here. The Balvenie Distillery was established back in 1892. In 1996 they released this flagship product, the Balvenie 21 YO PortWood.

I started drinking whisky in the summer of 1997, and this whisky has been a favourite of mine since late 1998. This was the first expensive and old whisky I ever bought when I started out exploring the wonderful world of whisky.

The Balvenie 21 YO PortWood is finished in thirty year old port pipes. I do not know what sort of casks it has initially been matured in, but I would guess a mix of bourbon and sherry casks.

There are actually two versions of the Balvenie 21 YO PortWood. In duty free there is a non chill-filtered expression bottled at 47.6 % ABV. I certainly will have to get my hands on this variant, and do a head-to-head comparison.

You can pick up a bottle of the Balvenie 21 YO PortWood in Norway at NOK 1599 (3384301), in Sweden at SEK 1490 (85553), and online in the UK at around GBP 113.

Nose: Warm and comforting from the first sniff. Apples with a dusting of icing sugar. Oranges, camphor and malt drops. With time a fine tuned nuttiness. All in all a delicate, balanced and a bit dusty dram.

Taste: Surprisingly rich mouthfeel for an ABV of just 40 %. Soft and delicate, as the nose. Honey glazed oranges. Soft spices, grapes and red berries. A touch earthy and with something like wine notes in the back.

Finish: Medium to long finish. Lighter notes towards the end, but it keeps developing. Now I find vanilla, apples, banana, honey, and almond milk.

Comments: An old favourite that still delivers!

Score (88/100)

Image from Master of Malt.

Sláinte! - Thomas

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