- Single Malt
- Gordon & MacPhail (GM)
- Bottling serie
- Connoisseurs Choice - Cask Strength
- Stated Age
- 24 years old
- 1st Fill Sherry Puncheon
- Batch 18/006
- Number of bottles
- 51.6 % Vol.
- 700 ml
- Bottled for
- Asia & Oceania
- Added on
- 17 Apr 2018 2:48 pm by RoyC
51 × in wishlist
25 × member ratings
43 × in collection
Whisky Reviews for Balblair 1993 GM
10 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 91.50 points
- almost perfect sherry seasoned for the new release, subtle tropical notes made me cry.
Very herbal, tons of olive, salty, maritime, with some smoke mixed in with the elegant sherry. I think there's a theme with all these recent Connoisseur's choice cask strength bottlings -- the sherry, despite many of them being first-filled, is not wild and overwhelming, but rather is quite elegant, and is very well-integrated.
More like a traditional sherry bomb here, with a certain freshness, and that persistent herbalness which is just to my liking. Sweet, pu-erh tea. Good complexity. I usually can find a bit of nuttiness, chestnut or otherwise, in a Balblair, but not in this one, unfortunately. I guess the sherry is a bit overwhelming here.
Love the finish here. Sweet, sour, salty.
- Auctioned early September 2018 not for 360 this time but for 460£ ex-tax, shipping and fees.
- Officially only sold in China, Canada (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Alberta), Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, Taiwan -
(according to GM)
- Revisiting this after prolonged aeration. I was previously thinking about lowering my score to 90 but I must say it convinced me again to go for a low 91. Moreover, without checking my former notes, I'm happy to notice that I still score it 91-90-91 : the palate is indeed the (very relative) low here, at least in my opinion, since it is the only time when the wood gets a tiny bit in the way. Besides that, we have to do justice to such dram's complexity and typicity. You don't encounter such sherry maturation any day : the sweet and salty mix of flavours mingling with the fine wood influence makes for a very complex an very "authentic" (who said old school ?) feeling.
Indeed, indeed. Don't hesitate to let it breathe and to warm it up in your palms a bit. Then the balance is real nice. Violets, cuberdons. Quetsches plums and nutmeg. Sweet black olives and Echinacea syrup. Thyme infusion and cherry coke. A lot of Fernet Branca. Well, you get it, there's a very singular and idiosyncratic mix of salty and sweet sherry-influenced notes here, creating a real identity and complexity. Further aeration releases more fruits, with red plums, ginjinha, and a twist of pepper. Great nose really.
There's a bit of dusty wood coming in the way upon arrival, granted. This adds a slightly dry and moldy influence to the whole, which soon switches to nice tertiary notes of forest soil and fallen leaves. Prolonged chewing is recommended since it will bring back some of the purple-red fruitiness, with backed plums mostly.
Very nice comeback on a more spontaneous fruitiness with a lot of plums and cherry jam, lifted by a fresh leafy influence like the best sherried drams have : some call it mint, I'd rather go for (purple) shiso here, which is actually a very comparable flavour anyway.
- As mentioned previously this needs some time. Had this in a tasting and was thoroughly impressed, but after buying a bottle it tasted like a different dram. After a month of waiting it has transformed into the drop I loved at the tasting. Beautifully sherried (not too fresh and christmas cake forward like so many modern sherried whisky) and so well integrated. Deep, complex and with a salty, maritime note that after some oxidation really makes this a well composed whisky.
Salty and maritime mixture with blueberries, then a sour cherry note, plum, cinnamon and a mild cocoa powder (not overwhelming or overly "chocolate-y" like so many new aged sherry bottlings-phew!
again blueberries lead, followed by plums cloves, cinnamon and orange zest. Again this salty maritime note integrating beautifully given enough time to oxidize
Long, pretty uniform and follows consistently from nosing and taste, but with a salty, maritime finish getting more heavy on the cocoa and and becoming almost more syrup like and dense on the finish. Beautiful, challenging and rewarding.
- Upon opening of bottle, it was admittedly weird on some points, the salty funky/rummy notes being very prominent and the palate somewhat un-balanced on texture and flavour. My bottle has now been able to breathe for a month and the amelioration is already tremendous.
Not only is it a very good heavy-sherry (and god knows I'm not a big fan of sherry-bombs), but it is also a "different" one, with for instance no prominent chocolatey, buttery or cakey notes as in many a Glendronach or Glenfarclas. I would say it is not unlike a mix of the recent Inchmurrin 2003 Sherry "Law" and, say, an old sherried Bunnahabhain. For all of those who have a bottle or a sample, LET IT BREATHE in the bottle/sample, it's just totally different after that. Comparing both flavour profiles make me think that Serge definitely tried de "non-aereted enough" version. Moreover, he recommends water while I don't, but try for yourself ! (90+)/91-
A few samples still available for the curious ones : just PM me ;)
Elegant sourness on blueberries comes first, and then already a clear Ginjinha note (portuguese cherry liqueur) appears. Or Kriek, if that rings more of a bell to you. Evolves then on a beautiful violet note that I encountered each and every time with this dram. Later on, you might get some splendid episodes of citrus freshness, mostly blood orange, which at times is just mega-obvious. This actually smells 100% like this at those moments. https://goo.gl/images/JYz7tB ... a real joy ! Then, settles on notes that go more towards what it initially smelled like, with (indeed Dram Dracula) black olives very clearly, salty leather, big fat purple prunes. A crème de cassis bitterness. It's to be noted that this is, all in all, particuarily fruity while retaining some salty funkiness : you could say in that aspect that some of the Balblair DNA might have been preserved. No evident moldy wood or bland cocoa, which is a plus methinks.
Fresh arrival on blueberries and blackberries again, for a split second. Then comes a potent alcoholic crescendo with cloves and nutmeg, and a certain amount of aromatic wood - drying, but not bitter : we're within limits. Then gets fantastically earthy with loam, floral pots-pourris, and even some industrial notes (bakelite ?) that actually remind me much of this one's palate : https://www.whiskybase.com/whiskies/whisky/97320/springbank-1997-sv. This earthy-floral side (loam, violet, pot-pourri) really takes the lead here, and that's what makes this dram really different than just "another sherry bomb".
Nice continuity, with various syrups or liqueurs of cassis, violet, cherries (Ginjinha kicking back indeed). Salty leather again, and tremendous umeboshi note. Chlorophyll - classic. Plenty of "agent de change" - a typical violet-flavoured candy https://goo.gl/images/dHyHNe. No over-woodiness here although a definite drying, salty side nonetheless.
Sherry Sherry Sherry - baked plums ready for a pie, an abundance of stewed fruits. Sweet and delightful, wonderful.
Big powerful, lots of wood spice. With water still spicy. Caramel, dark chocolate and lots of raisins.
Dry with oak and dark chocolate sprinkles.
- auctioned in july 2018 for 360 GBP + fees + tax + shipping;
"Aroma - Rich and sherried, juicy plum mixes with clove and cinnamon; brown sugar and fudge mature into red apple sprinkled with cocoa powder and an underlying citrus peel edge.
Taste - Creamy and smooth, stewed plum, raspberry, and apple combine with cinnamon and orange peel, hints of roasted chestnuts transform into tart cherry and oak.
Finish - Long and spicy with lingering dark chocolate."