Ballechin 2003

Overall rating
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
The Whisky Exchange 20th Anniversary
Stated Age
15 years old
Refill Sherry Butt
Number of bottles
55.0 % Vol.
700 ml
50 ppm
Bottle code
Added on
01 Oct 2019 11:29 pm by Nidan
UncoloredNon-chillfilteredCask StrengthSingle Cask Whisky

Average value

€ 122.79

20 × in wishlist

47 × member ratings

80 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Ballechin 2003

12 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 88.33 points

  1. galg33 scored this whisky 89 points Member Senior

    Nose: earthy and dark, full of tobacco leaves cigars, black tea, Lapsang if you will.. Smoky chimneys, sweet sticky black fruit, tar, Sultana and fig jam. Slightly medicinal as well.. That’s one big and bold nose… I’m loving it.

    Palate : dry and spicy earthy goodness on the entry with lots of smoke, soot and tar. More Lapsang tea, cigar leaf, and peat. Quite some wine influence, with big tannic notes as well, prune jam, chocolate and stewed berries, leather and licorice, then getting sooty.

    Finish : earth, soot, tar, wood smoke, spent cigar.

  2. ezioaudit scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

  3. Johannes de Silentio scored this whisky 89 points Member Senior

    Color: Rich Mahogany (with apologies to Ron Burgundy)

    Nose: There's a lot going on here. There are the savory elements you often get when combining a big distillate, big peat, and big sherry. Think meaty notes, soy sauce, and coffee. Then there's dried fruit, especially prunes. As for the peat, some of the medicinal nature comes through, along with some furniture polish, but it's not overpowering. It works; it's a huge nose, but the balance speaks louder than any of the individual elements.

    Mouth: Beautiful and flavor-packed from the start with the viscous mouthfeel you want in a dram like this. There's no heat at 55% ABV, which is always a good sign, in my view. The higher you can get it, like this, the more intense the flavor should be; remove the burn from that equation, it allows for some rich experience. That's what you get here. Aside from the usual suspects, and specifically a continuation of the nose, this has an interesting root beer taste. Not something I often find in whisky. Anyway, it's good. (I don't get a big difference from adding water at either the nosing or tasting stage.)

    Finish: You feel the oak a little bit on the finish, but nothing too bad. It sticks around for a while.

    Comments: This is a great whisky to have in your collection for when you or your guests feel like having an intense dram. I always like having a few of these around for such occasions. This Ballechin is a definite winner in that category. I'll add, once more, that TWE is absolutely doing an exemplary job with these 20th anniversary bottlings.

  4. florian09 scored this whisky 89 points Member Senior

    Dress: very dark, with orange highlights.

    Nose: we start on hot tar and chimney fire, not cold ashes but a fire that we just lit with pronounced resinous notes. Behind this firmly peated and smoked whole there are pretty red fruits in a sweet / tangy mix of wild strawberries and gooseberries. The alcohol is well integrated and does not attack the nostrils.

    In the mouth: as suggested by the nose, we start on resin of fir, and this resinous / sweet side is accentuated with Garrigue honey. A whisky that can almost be chewed.
    Peat is meaty, meaty, bacon grilled. The fruits are hard to find their way into this smoky and tarry set except in the final where we distinguish dried prune and raisins with brandy. Bitter dark chocolate and hints of leather complete this very dark picture.

    In conclusion, the bottle is just open but already delivers big peaty-sherry. The kind of profile that sends the heavy and that does not leave indifferent but to reserve fans of fat peat, that falls well it's quite my style :)
    A bit like a Port sgioba 2001 with less complexity, certainly, but a lot of fun.

  5. Volanne scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    A dark, jamy, meaty, and chewy Ballechin of the best kind. Quite thrilling, I must say...
    • Nose
      89 89
      Roast hams and black berry jams strike first. "Honey roast ham" crisps. Pyrenean Ewe's cheese (of the very farmy kind), with its black cherry "Itxassou" jam. Melting tar in the street, when sun is getting too hot. This is an experience!
    • Taste
      88 88
      That's a thick one! Getting more herbal and resinous now, with a deep smoky edge. Beef jerky. Like roasting bacon on a fir tree barbecue.
    • Finish
      88 88
      Long and fruitier now, but still very deep and thick (overcooked black cherry jam), it leaves you with a slight burnt wood bitterness. Not unpleasant though.

  6. sarthur71 scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      90 90
      smoky with a subtle hint of noble perfume
    • Taste
      88 88
      strong, but the strength is not sharp, but rather soft, pleasant and warm; there is a little more perfumery, plus - an expensive cigar
    • Finish
      87 87
      long, there is even less smoke, and a little more perfumery, as if a drop of expensive perfume fell on an expensive cigar

  7. Ostap scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

    Whisky concentrate at every stage, starting with color. Though a knife cut like jelly. The feeling that this is not a slice of sherry, but a cocktail of whisky with sherry. This is confusion, wild impressions. A wonderful specimen for tasting.
    • Nose
      Sour peat, sherry, dried fruits, rubber, buckwheat with milk, buckwheat honey, prunes, paints, mineral, sour farm notes (quite traditional for Ballechin), smoked smoke, nightshade notes, toffee, sawdust, plums, dates, earthy, currants , citrus pulp, burnt sugar, dried fruit compote with the addition of wild pear, fragrant smoke in the apiary. This flavor can be cut with a knife!
    • Taste
      Salty, drying oil, varnish, a bunch of sherry, smoke, dried meat, oily chips from seaweed.
    • Finish
      Varnish, sherry, leather, oak, smoke, long, long smoldering on the palate.

  8. alex..w..fan scored this whisky 83 points Connoisseur

    21 20 21 21 83

    Powerful, in general there is no depth, you can drink and quite interesting, IMHO it's all emotions, sad ...

  9. toklian scored this whisky 84 points Connoisseur

    N21 P21 F21 B21

  10. Gaija scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

    Sherried Ballechin is beginning to earn a well-deserved benchmark status, and this one is certainly one of the most contributing. In theory, this lacks a bit of finesse, but ... it's so pleasurable and bold ! 89+/90-
    • Nose
      Big fat peat-sherry à la Ballechin sherry. Classic in that regard, but even more intense than the average example. Beef jerky turned to eleven, marinated bell peppers, smoked tomato concentrate (make that some kind of artisan arrabiata), burnt peanuts. All that is wrapped by a very coherent and logical touch of sulfur which could *not* be seen as a flaw in this context. I mean, it's inevitable somehow. The animal vs vegetal duality is very interesting, both sides are very intense. Coal, Ardenne's smoked ham, cherries, black bread. All that is very spontaneous, which is a plus in this context.
    • Taste
      Perfect alcohol integration after some bottle aeration. The global texture could maybe feel a bit oilier but I'm nitpicking. As such, it's just a marvelous dry-oloroso peated malt, very meaty in style. So, a lot of venison, beef jerkies again, of course, with burnt nuts, coal, black cherries, salty liquorice (the real chewing stick). The coherency is perfect. A true winter treat.
    • Finish
      Somewhat fresher (for the best !), with unexpected hints of blood orange. Black cherries and salty liquorice are here again, venison, ... But also developing Picon (yeah really, big time, can't seem to figure how I didn't notice sooner), smoked tea, dead leaves, brown beer. There's something very Cabernet Sauvignon or Carmenere if we're talking wine territories, because the vegetal influences (like bell pepper) are quite noticeable throughout.


Add tasting tags by clicking the flavours you recognized in this whisky.


Whiskybase is founded in 2007 with the goal to create the biggest resource of whisky information in the world. A community driven website built by and for whisky enthusiasts.  

Whiskybase B.V. 
Zwaanshals 530 
3035 KS Rotterdam 
The Netherlands 

KVK: 52072819
VAT: NL850288836B01

Copyright © 2021

Forgot your password?