Review: Balvenie 15 Year Old Single Barrel (Sherry Cask) Single Malt Scotch Whisky / by Jason Hambrey

15 Years; Sherry Casks
100% Malted Barley
Distiller Balvenie (Dufftown, Scotland)

Another Balvenie single barrel, again non-chill filtered and released at a nice 47.8%.

Review (2016)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2015

A lot of licorice alongside some oak, apple, and dried tropical fruit chutney (dried papaya, mango, alongside some cinnamon and clove), mangosteen, and some lighter apple. It’s a lot of licorice – I don’t like licorice bombs very much. And some nice sherry tones – with some of that sherry spiciness and fruitiness. Quite complex on that nose…the palate is full of licorice, dark chocolate chips, anise, honey, malt, licorice, and some buttery oak. Finishes with spice and vanilla – quite creamy, in fact, and the balance is good between the oak, the malt that emerges, the cinnamon and clove, and the pear. I like the finish more than the other elements here. And terrific spice. The nose, for me, is too licorice laden and I don’t love it- but the rest is quite enjoyable. If for a bit less licorice on the nose, this one would be rated even higher. Great strength for this whisky.

Recommended (81% of whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Low, based on $183.