A welcome sighting of Balblair – this month’s an 11 year old drawn from a refill ex-bourbon hogshead. View on SMWS
Nose: Prominent creamy toffee and salty fudge make for a welcome first nosing. Deeper, there’s condensed milk, tart bases and flan cases piped full of poached pears and overripe apricots. In the background, a combination of refined sugars and wet vegetalness – moss and moist soils. Reduction brings out some over cask influence with cereals, vanilla and pancake batter joined by dusty cinnamon.
Taste: Bolder, spicier and saltier – Freshly baked digestives (sprinkled with cracked black pepper) alongside chunks of salted caramel. Rolled pastry is topped with grapefruit segments whilst dark, reduced toffee (almost burnt) sits with forest mushrooms and alluvial clays. The addition of water expressiveness bread pudding, lemon curd and an increased pepperiness.
Finish: A little short with pepper, all spice and dusty oak.
I’m sad that the finish of this Balblair is a touch short, as otherwise everything else is rather excellent. There’s quite a different experience on offer here between the nose and the plate – the former, unctuous and creamy, the later, piquant and spicy. The commonality throughout is salinity – well-judged and well-placed. Super interesting and certainly recommended.
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