Balblair 24 1993 Gordon & MacPhail Cask Strength. Right off the bat, you’re noticing it. This is what you listen for when buying independent bottles.
Balblair. I like it, I’ve enjoyed versions of it that are original bottlings, so I assume it’ll be good.
24-years-old? Yeah, that’s very nice. As someone who usually has whiskies between 8 and 30 years old, I’m happy there. Also actually have an age statement? Sweet!
1993? Whatever, I’m not ageist.
Cask Strength? Alright, alright, alright, let’s do this. Oh, and yeah, it’s made by Gordon & MacPhail, which I’ve had some nice pics from every so often.
So this will be finishing up our yearly tasting. Will it live up to wait? Let’s see, shall we?
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Cask Type: 1st Fill Sherry Puncheon
Cask Number: 1964
Colour: 10YR 2/4
Nose: Grassy, nutmeg, orange, chocolate biscuit, hazelnut
For something I’m expecting to be a blast of sherry, this certainly surprised me. Grassy, spice, some chocolate, but not a hot or overly sherried dram. Dry too, so it’s nice and different.
Taste: Chocolate, rice krispie squares, carrot/orange juice, anise, currant
Hey, more chocolate, and a bit of candy going on. However, it’s balanced out with earth, acid, and even some spice.
We’re getting a lot more of the sherry influence here. Still nice and grassy/anise going on, but it’s more sherry influenced now.
Finish: Anise, wheat/cereal, pear, honey, currant, tea/tannic
Bit more balance again between the sherry influence and the whisky aspects, but the dry aspects have taken right over. Very dry end. Water brings out more and more tannins.
Conclusion: A dry, interesting sherry influenced, earthy dram. This made me think, based on colour, name, label, past experiences, the general flights of migratory birds while I drank it, and my own bias, that it would be a sherry bomb.
Instead, I was certainly having fun with it. Lots of dry notes, good balance of the malt and sherry influences, generally fun. That said… this isn’t all rainbows and fingerbanging. There are some issues.
The finish is drier than a desert as it slowly grows larger due to our ignorance of destroying the planet. The taste is very sherry forward. The age versus the actual complexity never matches up. Hell, I’ll even say that perhaps Balblair’s do better when they vat various kegs versus just one.
That all said, there’s a lot worse out there, and it certainly was fun. If a dry dram is what you seek, then look for this one if you can.
Scotch review #1085, Highland review #182, Whisky review #1690