Old Ballantruan Twitter Tasting #OB10TT

last night we gathered again with the help and guidance of Steve from The Whisky Wire, for a lovely twitter tasting. It has been quite some time since I sat in one of those (due to some samples arriving late etc. but this time all was on time). I almost forgot that Israel is now only 1 hour ahead of the UK and not 2 as usual (stupid Israeli government ending the DST a month early. Bastards!). So, I rushed in traffic to be home early enough to say hi to the kids, bathe them and hop on to the twitter tasting station I set up on my porch. You must understand that this time of year in Israel is considered autumn, but days are still rather hot and nights are cooler on the porch, the perfect place to drink whisky (I won’t tell you what I’m wearing there, as its way TMI).

Going back a few days, a lovely package has landed looking all nicely with some straw and a nice box with Old Ballantruan written all over it. Could hardly resist opening those wee little sample bottles, but managed…


So, at 20:00 my time, sitting in front of the PC , 2 samples glasses in hand, a wee glass of water and all ready to tweet and taste with many internet friends from all over the world.

The Old Ballantruan  is a peated malt produced by the Tomintoul distillery and owes its name to the waters of the Ballantruan Spring, nestling in the Cromdale Hills close to Tomintoul. The NAS version has been around for quite some time, while the new 10 year old has just been released in the UK at The Whisky Exchange show down in London, and now available also on the TWE site. The launch of this new one is the reason we convened for the twitter tasting in the first place. Always cool to be one of the first to try a new malt. What caught my eye immediately was the fact that it’s bottled at 50% ABV, very nice.

Old Ballantruan ‘The Peated Malt’ , 50% ABV , £30old-ballantruan-the-peated-malt-whisky

Nose:  Soap, Mezcal , campfire on a sandy beach, sugar icing, Banana peal,smoke, and a lot of youngish sweet malty sort of stuff.grilled fish too. lovely stuff. Sturdy and manly.

Palate: Dry smoke, earthy and peaty but not medicinal at all. crushed black pepper, with a lot of sweet cereal goodness and Barley sugars popping in.getting earthier and bitter towards the end.A very different palate than Islays, but very nice

Finish : The finish is bitter, with bitter wood, earth, and pepper. some espresso! double espresso, that is.

A very rustic ,earthy dram, manly and rough but in a nice way.

Old Ballantruan 10 Year Old , 50% ABV , £45old_b_10yo

Nose: Very different .     light, leafy, with lemon peel, Autumn leaves, creamier than the younger one, delicate and more refined and not the spoiled brat that is the NAS. Some green Banana, almost no peat. some white wine: think, un oaked chardonnay

Palate: Peppery, meaty, and earthy, with peat, piquant, spicy stuff, with that lemon curd sticking around, giving it all a very interesting profile.some biscuit , shortbread,. with water it gets more tannic and the pears and apples stand out more vividly.

Finish : creamy, earthy, less bitter than the 10 with some fruity pears.

If you ask me, I liked both but prefer the 10 year old which is less bitter and peaty and more complex and interesting on the palate, with that lemon tarty nose.

Very nice stuff.

Many thanks to Steve and Angus Dundee for organizing this event.

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