Balblair 1990

Overall rating
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
2nd Release
Bourbon Casks & Sherry Butts
46.0 % Vol.
50 ml 700 ml 750 ml
Added on
04 Nov 2015 9:10 pm by z-imaging

Average value

€ 199.95

14 × in wishlist

137 × member ratings

258 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Balblair 1990

21 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 88.01 points

  1. Slàinte Mhath scored this whisky 90 points Administrator

    Always a bit off the beaten track, Balblair was one of few distilleries sticking to vintage bottlings until just recently. Distilled in 1990 and bottled in 2015, the aroma of this Highlander is a true delight. Blood oranges, papaya and delicate spices intermingle with cereals, lemongrass and hints of cocoa. A complex and well-balanced flavor profile marks the palate: fruity-sweet and spicy at first, the taste develops more floral, aromatic and mildly acidic. Chocolaty-bitter, warming and almost sparkling, the prolonged finish waves farewell. A great Single Malt to savor!

    RATING: 4.4/5.0 stars ≙ 90 pts → SUPERB [-]
    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      91 91
    • Finish
      89 89

  2. Indianerhäuptling scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      86 86
    • Finish
      86 86

  3. Totoro scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    Big fun. Pretty lively and zingy for its age - my guess is that a sizable portion of liquid matured in either ex-European oak or virgin oak has gone into this batch.
    As fas as affordable older Highlanders go, I'd prefer this to the - roughly similarly priced - AnCnoc 22 and 24.
    • Nose
      89 89
      Plum cake, polish, marzipan, exotically-flavored fruit gums, wine-soaked barrel staves. Quite a bit of acidity - probably due to the ex-bourbon components that went into the vatting, but there's also a sense of slightly sour wood influence (in a good way, though). Very fruity, with (to my mind:) quince, mirabelle, apricot, and cherry. The fruit vies for dominance with the wood, without a clear winner in sight.
    • Taste
      90 90
      Does not need water. Super smooth and silky arrival, gets then slowly and steadily more peppery and intense. If you'd have to visualize the development on the palate, you'd surely draw an upward tending graph: it starts slowly and then just builds and builds and builds. Basically, you get multivitamin fruit juice in the beginning, then a dash of wood spice, leading up to a ginger-and-chili finale. At the death, there's some late chocolate and espresso. Impressive.
    • Finish
      86 86
      Longer than medium, but not very well-defined. Some lingering cocoa and indistinct red fruits, while the zingy spiciness slowly ebbs away. Water makes it fruitier and (duh:) softer without offering any real improvement.

  4. pianoman scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      Rum raisins, sweet red apples, some caramel. Some reeds and eucalyptus. Honeydew melon, gold kiwi. New leather, a hint of vanilla.
    • Taste
      Apples, nectarines, light honey and a little pepper. Nougat. Black tea with sugar candy.

  5. IIIZIII scored this whisky 90 points Expert Junior

    • Nose
      Very clean aldehydic sherry, oaky, slight cognac character. Toffee, fudgey creaminess. Barely fruity if at all.
    • Taste
      Oak complexity, but barely bitter, with great creaminess. With water and time it gets even more creamy. Slightly sweet wit no fruity components for me.
      Yes, it seems to me very close to the 2017 version, and probably the whole 1990 line goes mainly on that cognac character, which makes a great transition to them.
    • Finish
      Very warming finish with a unique oaky complexity

  6. rolabob scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      91 91
    • Taste
      92 92
    • Finish
      89 89

  7. lachaineduwhisky did not rate this whisky Expert Senior

    Mix of fresh fruit and stewed fruit on the nose as well as honey. Great fullness, perceptible age, soft, melted, sherry, caramel, well integrated alcohol. Great length in the mouth. It's good work. Enthusiasm 4/5

  8. stollimaus scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    Meanwhile, there are 4 versions of Balblair 1990 "2nd Edition":
    Bottled 2013: https://www.whiskybase.com/whiskies/whisky/77574/balblair-1990
    2014: https://www.whiskybase.com/whiskies/whisky/75639/balblair-1990
    2015: this one
    2016: https://www.whiskybase.com/whiskies/whisky/86207/balblair-1990
    And all are called 2nd Edition ...
    Strange marketing of Balblair!
    2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th Edition would be more logical? Or???

  9. stollimaus scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    There seem to be more sherry than bourbon casks per cent.
    Fantastic nose, great long finish, just a tad too spicy in the first mouthfeel.
    Thus only 88 instead of 90 points from me.
    • Nose
      The sweet sherry aromas of prunes and raisins dominate. Although very sweet, it comes across very harmoniously and rounded. Alcohol and malt are very well integrated. A slightly sour note flashes from time to time, but is immediately displaced by the sweetness again. Later comes some caramel and chocolate. A fantastic nose for those who like sweet sherry casks.
    • Taste
      Oops. As round and balanced as the nose was, the first sip surprises you with a slightly peppery, crisp note! This stays that way with a few drops of water. Behind it follow the beautiful chocolate notes "Zartbitter".
    • Finish
      Relatively long and pleasant. Becomes neither bitter nor dry, but remains an interplay of chocolaty and sweet sherry notes.

  10. Nestheth scored this whisky 83 points Member Senior

    • Nose
      85 85
    • Taste
      81 81
    • Finish
      81 81


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