Ballantine’s 12 year old Blended Scotch Whisky
Score: 83/100 (blend)
This whisky was another weeknight surprise session on the same night I tasted Glendronach 8 (review coming soon).
A few weeks back I got a taste of Ballantyne’s 17 (thanks Sylvain) & it was a pretty great dram, (I didn’t take any notes). I was not expecting the maturity and presence that whisky had, there was a well balanced, fruity and herbal side and a well integrated peat/smoke glow. Very old school made me think of gentlemen’s clubs, leather arm chairs, harris tweed blazers and a fireplace…ok maybe some cigars too.
This bottling seems to have a completely different lineage and I believe it is based more on American oak barrels from what I can gather and the color (but who knows as these blenders love their E150).
Nose: Lemon meringue pie, Werther’s originals, nutty vanilla and lemongrass. It has a nice malty presence, no intense grain notes like some blends
Palate: The taste flips from fruity to toffee and then from lemon to slight peat edge. Shortbread, five-alive citrus. Dried ginger, slightly herbal (Ricola), the toffee doesn’t linger. There is a nice smoky/peaty touch (so slight but it’s there)
The finish is brief, creamy a bit, the texture was fairly coating in the glass for a blend. With a higher ABV this would sing. A well balance blended Scotch, the slight smokey touch and light herbal side is the only thing in common with the 17 I would say.
I really like this blend, very drinkable and priced decently but still a bit high (a bit cheaper than JW black in my neck of the woods)