- Single Malt
- Distillery Bottling
- Bottling serie
- 1st Release
- Calculated age
- 43 years old
- American oak, ex-bourbon remade hogshead cask
- Number of bottles
- 41.4 % Vol.
- 700 ml
- Added on
- 24 Nov 2012 9:38 am
21 × in wishlist
34 × member ratings
51 × in collection
Whisky Reviews for Balblair 1969
6 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 91.52 points
- Fruity, vanilla, old library, licorice spices, complex, good finishing length, nice aftertaste. Strength is probably just nice for its age.
- N: 97
Rather excellent for a whisky this old. Floral, layered complexity, vanilla, fruits, liquorice.
The two bottles allocated for TWE show had long gone by the time I asked to try it on Trade Day. Fortunately, Sukhinder had also asked to try it, so a third bottle was opened. I tried this back at TWE show in 2014 [score:89]. In all that time, only one other person has since scored it on Whiskybase. When Balblair released this 1969 for £1200 in 2012, the price seemed utterly bonkers. Prices for Brora, Port Ellen and older bottles of Karuizawa at the time hadn’t properly taken off. Indeed, in 2014, TWE were selling the 29yo Geisha Twin Label single casks [WB] for £375 a piece. There must have been a visionary or two at Balblair, because six years on, the price of their oldest vintage has begun to match the times rather well.
N: Oily, nutty, fruit-laced hessian covered compote, muffins & pancakes.
T: Yes yes yes to a savoury, dry yet juicy liquid-barley joy.
F: Sweet-savoury liquorice with a savoury surge towards the end. Concludes with hessian > bung < barley.
C: Fabulous. Nothing mind blowing, just so!
Scores an A-
- Nose: Mother of God! This is something else. Rich. Clearly at CS. Starts with majestic polished wood. Lovely wood spices, overripe bananas, stewed apples, vanilla and Demerara sugar. Lemons, a wee bit of mint and hints of ripe grapefruit. Mega complex. And lively. Vigorous.
Palate: Surprisingly smooth at this strength. Very nice starting again with that lovely old wood, like licking an old library bench. Wood spices, some aniseed and that mature grapefruit note I love in older drams. A pinch of licorice and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Heaven.
Finish: Long. Very long with cinnamon spice. Apple pie. And gentle wood. Dry and very rewarding.
That’s a lot of text to just say: it’s incredible. It really is. I’ve visited the Balblair distillery (splendid place and location by the way), and tasted most of their (if not all) releases in the last few years, But I really have to say, this one is by far the best yet I’ve tried from Balblair. A true sensory experience I feel very lucky to have been granted.
- After being illusive for the last two years, i finally caught up with one of the most expensive and oldest oB Balblairs.
N: Surprisingly light and mild, malty floral - not too dissimilar to the 1976 Glencraig WB. Fluffy, chalky, surprisingly simple and,.... disappointing. Rather Speyside like too.
T: Arrives solidly and grows on the palate becoming full bodied - lemons, pepper sprinkles, limey, clean with a robust development all the way through.
F: Grassy sweetness, soft marzipan and aniseed freshness.
C: Like all the best Balblair’s, subtlety and fragrancy is what they do best - so if you are after a buttery puff pastry floral nose, with control and elegance, the 1969 is another charmer, lovely BUT - this bottling is nothing out of the ordinary. Against all the hype and price tag, this is a hugely disappointing presentation. If you consider that one bottle of this 1969 could buy you [Oct ’14] official bottlings of the 1975; 1978; 1979; both 1990 Islay casks; the 1990 23yo; 1997 1st release; 1999; the new TWE 2000 1st fill sherry single cask, and just enough for a 1966 independent at auction - i can’t get too excited about the 1969. YOU decide.
Scores a B+
- Balblair's Tasting Notes:
Appearance: Balblair 1969 is a rich golden colour with amber highlights.Aroma: It has an aromatic and spicy aroma. Fragrant and floral with hints of lemons, apples bananas, pear drops and toffee. On the nose, there are also slight vanilla, leather and smoky notes.Palate: On the palate, the many layers of taste come through, well into the long finish. Honey sweet with hints of green apples, bananas pears and oranges. The full bodied flavour also offers a hint of smokiness, together with a suggestion of toffee and vanilla.Finish: Smooth, full bodied and long-lasting.