Balvenie 17 yo ‘SherryOak’ (43%, OB, 2007) This brand new Balvenie was fully matured in Oloroso sherry casks. Colour: deep amber with bronze hues. Nose: starts immediately dry, mostly on coffee and bitter cocoa, which is certainly unusual for Balvenie, but rather beautiful. Gets even more coffeeish (all kinds of coffee, from espresso to café latte) and rather perfectly spicy (cinnamon, nutmeg, hints of star anise), and then more ‘antique’, with old leather, wax polish, old furniture... Discreet whiffs of soy sauce, but not meatiness here. I really like this one, very cleanly dry. Mouth: a slight weakness at the attack due to the low strength but it’s soon to take off, on these coffeeish and chocolaty notes again, prunes, Corinth raisins, the same spices as on the nose and a slight, pleasant tannicity (not bone-dry). Maybe the middle is a bit weakish again but the finish is longer again, rather full, clean, still very dry, with pleasant tannins and an aftertaste on cooked blackcurrants and prunes. A success I think. 88 points.