We have known Balblair for its vintage bottles for a long time until they decided to revamp the core range with four different age statement expressions. I will be reviewing all those four whiskies on the blog, but let's start with Balblair 12 Year Old.
This first relaunched expression is aged in American oak. To be specific, ex-bourbon barrels and double fired barrels. It is bottled at 46% abv at a minimum age of 12.
How Does This Taste?
It starts with a strong lemon peel feeling. Dusty malt covers most of the experience and when it opens up you can feel overripe pears with vanilla and raw cookie dough. The palate has biscuit, caramel, honey, cream custard and oak spices. The finish has some spirit burn with medium length. Cinnamon, white peppers and milk tea can easily be felt.
If I need to summarize Balblair 12 in a few words, 'spirit-driven' would be my choice. The oak influence is there with vanilla, subtle oak spices, a touch of coconut and citrus, but it is not overpowering.
However, there are certain moments especially on the finish that I felt the need for more aging. Raw spirit burns both at the back of the palate and some time on the nose can feel very young.
The price of $65 is on the higher end when compared to its competitors.