A few missing cask numbers between this refill ex-bourbon barrel Balblair and the January release of 70.29 - perhaps more to come from this underappreciated distillery over the coming months. View on SMWS
Nose: Apricot tarts, orange peels and wine gums are tempered by a solid influx of limestone coasts and granite outcroppings. Bright golden barley and buttered bread sits with salty water and seaweed. Reduction adds plenty of green herbs – mint, olive brine and crispy kale alongside some ozone.
Taste: Crystalline salinity is up first, subsiding to reveal a more fruity underbelly – apricots, coconuts and citrus with salted caramel and vanilla tarts. The mid-palate has some savoury tinges – damp hay and light hammy meatiness. Dilution softens things up – less coastal, more stone fruits and dried herbs alongside some chalky aspirin.
Finish: Medium, green herbs, brine and a firm coastal breeze.
The underlying citric fruity spirit character of Balblair is present and correct here – but in this instance it’s wrapped up in a particularly maritime delivery. It’s not quite as single-minded as this month’s Bunna, but instead offers coastalness with plenty of natural fruits and a good scattering of herbalness.
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