Updated: May 4, 2021
Age: 14 Years
Mashbill: 100% Malted Barley
BACKGROUND: The Balvenie distillery is a unique Scottish distillery launched in 1892 by William Grant in Dufftown, Scotland. Grant learned how to distill after working at the Mortlach distillery 1866. In 1962, David Stewart began working for William Grant & Sons and in 1983, Malt Master Stewart experimented with maturing The Balvenie whisky in two different wood types which is started the practice of "finishing" whisky which is common today in many spirit types. The Balvenie was one of the first distilleries to release very old whisky in 1987 when they released a 50 year old whisky. An interesting fact about the Balvenie distillery is that the everything occurs at the distillery. They grow their own barley on their land, they maintain an old-school malting floor from a pre-industrialization age, employ a coppersmith to maintain the stills, and employs a cooper to make and maintain its own barrels and casks. This whisky is a 14 year old Single Malt scotch which uses Stewart's own blend of West Indian rum casks which the scotch is put in after its initial maturing for at least 14 years in oak barrels.
NOSE: The nose is sweet and light with scents of banana bread, sugar cane, buttery rum, oak, and light pepper scents. It is very well balanced and smooth with a nice lightness and sweetness attributable to the proof and the finish. (21/25)
PALATE: Oh my, this is one smooth and elegant whisky. Rich and chewy notes of molasses, butterscotch, toffee, and baked apple blend together with perfect balance. There is a surprising lack of batley and oak notes given the age and it being a 100% malted barley mash bill. Although it is a lower proof whisky this one goes down with such ease and flavor. (35/40)
FINISH: The finish is very long and slightly drying with some pepper, aged wood, and some vanilla sweeping you off your feet until the next sip. (21/25)
VALUE: Balvenie 14 Year Caribbean Cask has an SRP of $82 which is a steal for this wonderfully flavored, finished, and well aged whisky. (8/10)
FINAL THOUGHTS: As with most Speyside style scotch's, Balvenie 14 year is ultra smooth and rich without the smoky and peaty notes. This whisky is absolutely delicious and approachable. We strongly recommend this to anyone and everyone. You can crack this bottle out for any non whisky drinker and they should enjoy the sweet and smooth flavors from this whisky.
Similar & Slightly Better Whiskey: Glenfiddich 21 Year
Similar & Equal Whiskey: BenRiach 15 Year Dark Rum
Similar & Slightly Worse Whiskey: Tomatin 12 Year
Tell us what you think and give us some feedback!
96-100: The perfect dram, juice of the gods
90-95: Near perfect, truly incredible whiskey
85-89: Amazing whiskey, will always try to keep a backup bottle of this
80-84: Very good, some minor flaws here or there
75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink, Will try and keep a bottle on the shelf
70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get this
60-69: Decent, would offer this up to non whiskey drinkers
50-59: Not my cup of tea
Below 50: Give away