Tasting new Balblair – 2001 vintage

Balblair. That wonderful little distillery in the village of Ederton. Something good is hapenning there, and a new vintage has just came out, the 2001. The 2001 was introduced just earlier last week, at the distillery in an event at Balblair’s new visitor facility (just opened, was not open even a few months ago when I visited the distillery) . So what’s so special about the 2001 you ask? First, It’s bottled at 46%, which is a great start. Second, it’s non chill filtered, and It’s bottled without artificial colouring.All natural. That’s how all whiskies should be bottled IMHO.

The 2001 vintage was entirely aged in Ex-Bourbon casks, and is pacakged in the new Balblair packaging, so there are quite a few “firsts” here.

The Balblair 2001 was unveiled at Balblair’s Brand Home. The new facility occupies
old malting barn at the distillery and offers a tasting and brand education experience
enhanced by audio-visual presentations. A small brand shop is now also operational and
offers a rare opportunity to fill your own bottle of Balblair straight from the cask, which is very cool. I only regret not being able to see this new facility myself, as i would have loved to bottle my own Balblair. Well, next time. i have to come back then. John MacDonald, it’s a promise!

Not being able to make it to Balblair, i was happy to be able to participate in a twitter tasting of the new 2001 vintage. This time it was not a regular twitter tasting, where we all meet at a certain time. it was more relaxed, where people got their sample and tasted it at the same time the event took place at Balblair, through the entire day. Each sampled it whenever he wanted that Thursday, and just twitter about his findings and experience. Very neat. Here are my notes:Balblair_2001

Balblair 2001 vintage, 46% ABV, NCF , £32

Nose: Very fresh, and when i mean fresh i mean a lot of zest. Limes. Lemongrass, you get it. Fizzy. Almost gin like. With some wood and malty sugars underneath to balance the entire thing quite well.
Palate: : Zingy spicy entry. Bitter wood and Malty sweet backbone. Lemon is here then it disappears into thin air! to reveal dark chocolate and cocoa powder.
Finish: dark chocolate and some cocoa powder that go a long way.

This one is replacing the 2000 vintage , and I do think they differ quite a bit. not as much vanilla here as in the the former, and this one is fresher and more on the fizzy side. A perfect summer drink for me. if you ask.

Score: 86/100

Thank you Lukasz for the official sample.

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