It was December 2019 when I first tasted the new Balblair 15 Year Old talking to my good friend Steph Ridgway. I never thought that Whisky Fest New York would be the last event for us to chat around. 3 months after that day, the pandemic started and changed the world. It also had an impact on the releases for the relaunch of Balblair's Core Range. I already reviewed Balblair 12 Year Old Single Malt from the range.
Balblair 15 year old is aged in ex-bourbon barrels and finished in 1st fill Oloroso Sherry casks. It is bottled at 46% abv at a minimum 15 years. The new core range of Balblair is non-chill filtered, which is a good thing to have for this whisky.
How Does This Taste?
Even in that night in New York after tasting tens of whiskies, Balblair 15 caught my palate with the dance of flavors and its luscious palate.
The nose has raisins and dusty malt, which is way more refined than its 12-year-old sibling. Cookie dough, sweet red apples, grapefruit zest and almond creates a joyful experience. The palate is oily and mouth-filling with dates, ginger and cinnamon cake. It carries a strong malty feeling with ripe stone fruits. The balance of spiciness and sweetness is well adjusted. The finish is very long with light tobacco aromas, orchard fruits, coffee, dried dates, traces of cranberries, dry Sherry and nutmeg.
Balblair 15 Year Old is a great whisky, at least for me. I find the flavors and aromas really appealing and balanced. It is certainly a whisky I will visit again and again.
The only bad thing about this whisky is the US pricing. $132? Tariffs are hitting us very hard. The only thing that will keep me away from this whisky will be the price. On every other term, we are life long friends with this bottle.