Balblair 1990

Overall rating
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
2nd Release
American Bourbon & Spanish ex-Sherry Casks
46.0 % Vol.
50 ml 700 ml
Added on
14 Dec 2015 3:35 pm

Average value

€ 114,81

44 × in wishlist

249 × member ratings

439 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Balblair 1990

65 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 87.95 points

  1. VaryingViewpoint scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    Downgraded my score from a 90 to a 88. This is my second bottle, and although very good, not quite the way I remembered it the first time around. Not as much fruit and sherry in the second bottle as the first. It's the same release and both bottles were purchased at the same time, so their shouldn't be any difference between the two, other than my palate changing slightly and being more discerning now than before.

  2. matts scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    My first but certainly not last Balblair.
    • Nose
      Distinct sherry in combination with an unexpectedly strong freshness. Green apple and stone fruit (especially cherries and peach) meet a mix of grapefruit and lemon. In addition, there is a very clear impact of nail polish, honey and subtle hints of peat or something Erdigem.
    • Taste
      Dangerously good drinkable and strangely difficult to describe. The taste is definitely less fruity than the nose suggests. Nut, caramel and a subtle oak spice offer a nice, slightly spicy counterpoint to a mix of cherries, plums and raisins.
    • Finish
      The finish is medium long and gets drier with time. The influence of the barrel decreases astonishingly for old age. A subtly spicy, very pleasant oak runs through the entire finish. Barley sugar and, over time, cocoa and espresso notes are added.

  3. WhiskyBlood scored this whisky 90 points Member Senior

    • Nose
      89 89
    • Taste
      90 90
    • Finish
      90 90

  4. dRambo scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    Nose: fruity sweetness, tobacco, old wood - a bit musty, delicately spicy, some wax, oranges, toasted cereal (Kellogg's smacks from childhood), after the first sip strong elegant oak notes, a fresh fruity acidity Taste: sweet, spicy, full-bodied, syrupy, hazelnut nougat, prunes, raisins, dates, sawdust - rather grindy, slightly dry, with the second sip - full-bodied, slightly sharp on the tongue like grapefruit skin, various citrus notes, fruity acidity, balsam-like texture , hidden sherry tones, serve more as a backdrop for the bourbon flavors
    Conclusion: the drop has a high quality, is quite peculiar in its wood notes, I can not quite understand the hype so yummy but nothing so special
    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      89 89
    • Finish
      88 88

  5. VaryingViewpoint scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      89 89
    • Taste
      87 87
    • Finish
      88 88

  6. schengel10 scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    A very successful Highland Single Malt!
    [Color] amber;
    • Nose
      old dark fruits (plums, raisins, berries), a lot of sherry, oak;
    • Taste
      full-bodied onset, heavy ripe fruits (raisins), honey, sweetness, spicy bitter oak;
    • Finish
      soft long finish; long sherry-fruity aftertaste;

  7. mosesumike scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    I always had him on the radar. Rob called him "Whisky of the Year"
    I have to say, I was not disappointed.
    Instantly bunkered several bottles.
    • Nose
      90 90
      The sherry should be dominant on the nose. Is he. The full program from plum to raisin everything. Even the distillery shimmers slightly malty through the many years and connects everything together. Well done. Even the alcohol knows its limits exactly. Sweet and sour take turns. As so often with such bottlings, chocolate & caramel are not too short. Fine!
    • Taste
      88 88
      He has plenty of power and spice. But pleasant and not too intrusive. For lovers of bittersweet chocolate a pleasure. You want to pour it again and again. Caution is advised!
    • Finish
      88 88
      The finale is wonderful, medium to long and fine tuned. No dryness and no bitter end. Everything flatters chocolaty and sweet.
      You do not want to stop anymore.
      Dangerously tasty.

  8. Seb.Whisky scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      Nez : Majoritairement influencé par le sherry, il dispose de ses arômes de fruits mûrs, de chocolat. Est également présent le miel, celui-ci prend des aspects caramélisés. L'ensemble est disons soft, avec des épices sous le manteau de fruits, poivre, un peu de gingembre. Enfin quelque chose de plus frais, presque mentholé, et aussi acidulé apparaît, tenant des agrumes.
    • Taste
      Bouche : Elle reste très douce, avec une présence citronnée directe, ce que je n'attendais pas en levé de rideau. Ensuite et de manière dominante, c'est le sherry. Des notes de pain grillé, c'est à la fois sec et fruité. Caramel, chocolat, boisé. Tous ces arômes sont bien fondus et incorporent ce miel, cette vanille en provenance des fûts de bourbon. Légèrement soufrée, avec également des raisins secs. 
    • Finish
      Finale : Bien plus d'épices, avec une sécheresse modérée. Les agrumes se déclinent sous forme de zestes d'orange, légèrement amers. Un retour sur ce style frais et mentholé.

  9. dram_on scored this whisky 85 points Expert Junior

    Nose: honeyed peaches, toasted oak, ripe dark cherries

    Palate: silky smooth honey, plum wine, burnt raspberries

    Finish: short, salted peanuts, burnt berries

    Overall: can see why some like this whisky but it doesn't quite work for me, perhaps I need to let my bottle breathe some more (>1 month open now)
    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      85 85
    • Finish
      82 82

  10. WhiskyLovingPianist scored this whisky 85 points Connoisseur


    We can all agree the vintage year is clear, but what is it with these releases? This is a 1990 vintage 2nd release bottled in 2014, though there are subsequent 1990 vintages bottled in 2015 and again in 2017, also second releases - what!? Highlighting the issue, I’ve read that the 1990/2014 & 1990/2017 [WF89] are wildly different to this one WF81. With the bottling year printed vertically as small print on the back label of the bottle, it’s crucial information retailers often fail to mention. Balblair could eradicate this long running confusion in a jiffy. I’ll write to them.


    N: Thoroughly pleasing. Beneath the initial oaky>boozy hit awaits a curiosity shop of treats. Within the fruity oily layers there’s quite a plethora of unusual smells that aren’t so easily broken down into spirit/cask camps, given 23 years of alchemy.
    T: Like an oaky hummus blended to smithereens, it’s pretty woody and tart [Serge]. What emerges shortly after is a heavy putty/malty fruitiness [oranges & lemons] with chocolate to fudge and caramac - all lined by oak. Given time and some water, you have a delicious mouthful. It’s not overly complex nor clever, just tasty/gluggable - though this isn’t consistent. Also, the journey is stupidly short, especially neat.
    F: We see some old paraffin-wax and a murky nondescript selection of home & garden oil & spray products joining the malty/oaky/putty dry mango/citrus action. Short again and very drying on a dry cracked peppery<zesty oaky plane with a touch of dry lime vanilla. Water however lengthens the finale a touch with an oaky-ish putty finish.
    C: The nose aside, this Balblair doesn’t set my world on fire though there are moments. The solution is to simply return back to snifting and repeat the cycle, and look for the 1990/2017 [2nd release].

    Scores a B-


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