The original Balblair was built in 1870, but the site was moved entirely in 1872 to take advantage of the just built Inverness to Wick train line. The distillery, like many, suffered economically during the Great Wars and was closed until after WWII. Following several changes of ownership, Balblair was bought by Inverhouse (owners of Old Pulteney) in 1996. Few bottlings came for the distillery until 2007 when a total repackaging and relaunch saw Balblair bottle by vintage rather than by age, with a unique and eye-catching design. The quality of the whisky being just as good as the design is testament to the 21st rebirth of this old distillery.

Balblair 2004 Vintage sherry matured

Posted 11 September 2017

Balblair Vintage 2004 sherry matured was released for travel retail in 2014. Balblair bottle by vintage year, and not age, but you’re always free to take the distillation and bottling dates and calculate it for yourself. This Balblair was released as part of a pair, one sherry matured and one bourbon matured both in large litre bottles. The sherry matured vintage has been aged entirely in American and Spanish ex-sherry butts and is bottled at 46%.

Balblair 1989 Vintage 1st Release

Posted 02 November 2017

I’m always a little surprised that Balblair has not garnered more interest and popularity as a high quality single malt whisky. Founded in 1790 making it one of Scotland’s oldest, the distillery has been under the wings of Inver House since 1996. In 2007 a radical reimagining and redesign of Balblair moved to bottling by vintage year (rather than always having an X and Y year old permanently available) and snazzy new glassware was introduced across the range.

Balblair 1990 (2nd Release)

Posted 25 April 2017

For those new to Balblair, you'll need to take a closer look at the bottle label (a good practice anyhow) to see the age of their malts. Balblair bottle by 'vintage', preferring, in their own words, to "select whiskies that have reached their exact point of optimum maturation". This can make things a little confusing, with very different whiskies bearing the same vintage year across the bottle. 

Balblair 1990 26 year old

Posted 11 August 2017

Balblair predominantly ages their whisky in ex-bourbon American oak casks – their unpeated Highland spirit is well suited to extended aging which brings out the natural fruitiness and prominent spicing from their spirit. Whilst the distillery fills several different types of casks, I’ve often found those whose principal maturation has come from ex-bourbon to be the most successful, and the truest to the character of the distillery itself.