Balvenie 17 Year Old Sherry Oak
By Tasos Protopapas
Nose: Rich and sweet aromas of a freshly baked Christmas cake are perfectly mixed with scents of raisins, ripe fruits and hazelnut. The cinnamon smell is simultaneously wonderful and delicious while the 17 years of maturation add a unique and magnificently gentle scent of wood.
Palate: Smooth and Fruity. The extraordinary explosion of sweetness and fruits in the texture is being succeeded by a spicy pleasure with a rich and well rounded finish. Tastes from wild cherries and blackberry cream cake contribute to an ideal balance with notes of dry fruits and finally end with "spicy beats" of nutmeg and ginger.
Finish: Magnificently long, enjoyable and spicy.
Indisputably, this is a splendid whisky.
Even though I am traditionally cask strength whisky lover, I have to mention that this whisky evolves through relatively low levels of alcohol (43%) since the aromas are quite open and are not absorbed in the high alcohol levels of the cask strength whiskies. Additionally, the taste and feel left in the palate and at the finish is exactly what a demanding whisky lover is looking for.
The water addition emerges in a different, more floral character, with touches of lavender and vanilla dominating the nose.
In the palate the feel is very soft and gentle substantially diminishing therefore the fruity and rich character of this whisky.
The finish becomes even spicier with the addition of water, as strange as this sound.