Whisky Tasting – The Balvenie in the Whisky Cabin
At 6.30 pm The Whisky Boys and Andrew set up the cabin with all the paraphernalia relating to this evenings event.
Shortly after 6.30 pm the guests started to arrive, and the chat started, everyone looking forward tonight’s extra special tasting event.
Our guests included, Helen Stewart of SMWS, Robin Laing The Whisky Bard, Stefan Kah and Julie Hamilton from the Glasgow Whisky Club, Neil Buchan Manager of The Cotton House Restaurant and many a familiar face from our previous guest tasting nights – Alex Milne, Lee Madigan, Robert Heeps, Paul Coleman & Scott Young.
Everyone moved into the Cabin and Andrew was introduced to everyone and he then detailed how this evening’s event was going to pan out.
Andrew started with a short introduction about himself and talked about Balvenie and his love for all their Whiskies, his plan was to taste and discuss the core range and then stop for a little supper and then to return to the Cabin for one or two special treats he had in store.
We tasted and discussed the following drams.
Balvenie DoubleWood 12 Year Old, 40% Alc/vol 70cl.
Balvenie Signature 12 Year Old, 40% Alc/vol. Limited Edition Batch #5.
Balvenie 14 Year Old Caribbean Cask, 43% Alc/vol 70cl.
Balvenie Single Barrel 15 Year Old, 47.8% Alc/vol 70cl.
Balvenie PortWood 21 Year Old, 40% Alc/vol 70cl.
The new kid on the block is the Caribbean Cask which has been matured in Oak Casks for 14 Years and then moved into Rum casks from the Caribbean, this finish helps to increase the fruit and vanilla flavours. All of the guests loved this one and most of them got tropical fruits and creamy vanilla, some apple notes with orange’s showing well, all agreed that it was the vanilla that was strong on the finish. Everyone at the table said that this bottle is one to buy.
The Whiskies went down very well and the chat was non-stop, a wee vote was taken and the winner by just a short head was the 12 Year Old Signature, which was aged in first fill bourbon barrels and refill casks and sherry butts and is one of the Malt Master David Stewart’s triumphs.
We all retired for some supper of Scotch broth and ham ribs, not a lot was left, the Balvenies gave everyone a good appetite and the chat was all about the wee treats that Andrew was going to bring out in the second half of tonight’s tasting event.
Back to the Cabin we all go. From under the table Andrew brought out a bottle of a new expression that is yet still to be released, it was, a Balvenie 17 Year Old DoubleWood and all in the Cabin were told that this is the first tasting of this dram outside the trade he has done, honoured indeed were the Whisky Boys, we all had a wee taste and special is the only word we all had for this extra special Whisky. Andrew then showed everyone how to smuggle Whisky out of the distillery by using a “copper dog” and some interesting stories relating to Balvenie and Balvenie Castle.
The second treat Andrew had in store for us was a wee dram of “Tun 1401” now this is a rare beast indeed, you will have to work very hard to find a bottle, but it will be well worth any amount of effort taken. Everyone enjoyed the silky chocolate and the oranges and lemons that come pouring onto the palate.
Andrew closed the official part of the tasting and everyone started to chat about all the fantastic drams and stories that Andrew imparted on all of the Cabinees.
The Whisky Boys would highly recommend that everyone check out Balvenies website www.thebalvenie.com and sign up for “Warehouse 24” where you can join an on-line community of Whisky enthusiasts and get exclusive access to both The Whisky Academy and The Whisky Shelf.
The Whisky Boys have to give a BIG THANKS to Andrew for bringing some exceptional drams and some very entertaining stories and anecdotes. After Andrew had left the Cabin many of the guests continued to enjoy a wee sip of the wonderful Balvenie range and waxed lyrical about the this evening event and the knowledge, enthusiasm and professionalism of Andrew.