This ‘Black Balblair’ (not the formal name, just a name I’ve given it) caused quite a stir (a few comments, really not much of a stir, but I love drama) when I posted a sample bottle of this very dark sherried whisky. I had not planned on writing tasting notes, but quite a few people asked me how it was, and is it worth looking for, and paying big money for, so, as a service to community (and since I feel like writing about it) here’s a wee post.
This single cask aged for only 14 years (when you look at the color of this baby, you can understand why I am saying it is “only” 14 yo), was originally bottled for the Russian market, and some bottles did make their way to the NL shops , where they sold out quickly for some € 170. I did think 170 bucks was too much , but was glad to see my mate Sjoerd running a bottle share of this stuff, and I immediately opted for 10cl. I have tasted a sister cask way back in 2014 in a Balblair online tasting (Cask 1345 – here : score 90) which was brilliant, and was quite as dark.
Nose: sherry. Lots of it. But no sulfur. burnt caramel, toffee, black tea leaves, ripe even overripe oranges, marmalade and spice. Kirsch and damp wood lots of that.
Palate : Xmas cake, sticky caramel, coffee beans, bitter sweet blood orange marmalade, nuts, plums and black ripe berries, tobacco, hint of some smoke.
Finish : tobacco, dry and bitter Java, dark chocolate wood and hints of sweet sherry.
Highly enjoyable stuff, and quite clean for this kind of monstrous sherry effect and color. A great after dinner dram, that would go well with chocolate desserts. Not worth 250 quid IMHO, but if you’re a sucker for very dark sherried whiskies…. well…