N: Charming bourbon-sweetness with soft resins. The big difference between this now legendary Balblair vintage [the first from Inverhouse], and those that have followed, is a softer & deeper cask maturation. On the nose, you may pick up pear drops, pineapple cubes and sweet>>bitter<chalky lemon with bourbon-ey icing sugar, but its the softness from the oaky bourbon sugars that impresses most. Soft resins are equal to the yeastiness. Most charming natural style i can think of without any big ‘malty’ notes present – though we can all agree its porridgy at its heart. Its my favourite ’natural’ style modern whisky.
T: From the nose, it delivers as you may expect. Its rather palate quenching too, the soft, sweet oaky-porridgy lemon & bourbon sugars continue the theme with some spice that subsides somewhat over time. The note of ‘ginger & sultanas’ from Sergei is spot on.
F: Somewhat dry with a little more chalky porridge and bourbon sweetness to the end yet incredibly, vanilla plays only a small part. Grassy bitters at the death which i don’t recall from other bottles as being so decisive.
C: Not so convinced by this bottle/batch. As you’ll see from my comments regarding the 1983 Balblair 1st release:blood 2 [below], aside from the batch variations, ive experienced bottle discrepancies too – and this appears to be no different. Given these bottles are now exclusively auction purchases, the storage conditions of their temporary custodians are certainly worthy of speculation – there was even a hint of OBE here, fancy that already! However, as time went on and the bottle opened out, most of the edgy astringency left, and mainly only the [true] mellowness remained. What a good year for Balblair-Inverhouse. Perfect whisky of this style.
Scores a B[-]