Time to review the next expression in the new Balblair core range, the 15 year old. Unlike the 12 which has been aged exclusively in American Oak, here we also have a sherry component as this one has been matured in ex-bourbon casks and then finished in first-fill Spanish oak butts. Balblair do not indicate the length of the Sherry finishing.
As with the rest of the range this is bottled at 46%, NCF, and natural color.
Balblair 15, 46% abv , £73
Nose: Quite rich, with baked apples,drizzled with honey and spices (cinnamon, cardamom), and some sultanas on top. A hint of citrus which balances the apple sweetness, maybe a touch of ginger bread.
Palate: The baked / cooked apples are still very dominant, with more of the dried fruit , some chocolate and toffee, and wood. The official notes speak of tropical fruit, but I must admit I fail to find those notes here..
Finish: Oak, dried fruit (date,raisin) and orange jam.
Conclusion: Quite a different animal than the 12 year old. the ex-sherry finishing has really had a big impact on the liquid. Quite heavier and chocolate-y with the dried fruit and apples combining well. Well made.
Available for £73 on the Master of Malt site.