A Balblair 10 year old from 1975 as an independent release is not something you will come across very often. And currently a sherry cask release is seldom seen. I was quite lucky to get my hands on this independent release of Gordon & MacPhail. They have released a few more with this kind of black and white label. But a dark (and I do mean dark!) sherry release was a stunning bottle to purchase. Opened during the Dornoch Festival 2016 as a bottle that was put on the table after a very good Balblair tasting. Shared with old and new whisky friends. Is this bottle living up to the very high expectations I had based on the colour?
This Balblair from 1975 is 10 years old and bottled at 57% ABV.
Balblair 10 year old tasting notes:
Nose: Dark chocolate and raisins. Leather, shoe polish and linoleum, but all in a good way. Very heavy nutmeg. A bit of freshness from lemon and orange. When you add water it becomes more fruity, and then mainly dark fruits. The nutmeg is now less intense, there is some cinnamon in the background and it is sweeter than before, honey and ginger. Also some oak and wax.
Taste: The nutmeg is back, dark and bitter chocolate, a feint hint of lemon. Then mocha and coffee beans, it’s quite bitter. When adding water: Herbals and Earl Grey tea appear, then cherries.
Finish: This is a very long finish with hints of nutmeg, cacao and with water, honey too.
A lot of flavours and layers in this one. It is quite complex even though it is only 10 years old. This all together makes it a very interesting whisky. It really needs a few drops of water, this improves the whisky significantly. It becomes more friendly. It was a pleasure to be able to try this whisky at the festival and the company helped in the experience.
I re-tasted it during Christmas 2016 in order to create these notes. It did improve during that time as it got the chance to breathe.