Tasting notes: The Balvenie 13 year old – hand filled


It’s been almost a year since I visited the Balvenie Distillery. Their tour is great and I would highly recommend it. The tour takes about three hours and they really take the time for you. Interesting part is the malting floor, which you no longer see so often at a distillery. But during this tour you also have the chance to buy three different whiskies which are drawn straight from the cask. I bought two of them, and this Balvenie 13 year old is the first to review.

This Balvenie has matured in a sherry cask and is bottled at 62,7% ABV. Cask no. 2378.

Balvenie 13 year old tasting notes:

Nose: Honey and dried fruits with mainly raisins and plums. Red fruits: strawberries. And a light floral note. With water: Goodbye fruits. It is more caramel and chocolate now. Quite creamy and lots of honey. It’s like smelling a pot of honey.

Taste: Red fruit to start with, follow by a kick of dried fruits. Very spicy and woody. Dark chocolate, which makes it slightly bitter. With water: Quite creamy, caramel and milk chocolates too. Still some dried fruits. But the spices and the wood dissapear to the background. It is more of the Balvenie character. Fruity and creamy. A small floral note, and a hint of heather.

Finish: A thick and chewy finish and mid-long. Some dark, bitter chocolate and plums here as well.

In the beginning it feels like it is overpowered by the sherry cask, as it has a very big sherry influence. But this becomes considerably less with a good amount of water. This helps to reveal the true Balvenie character. It’s a good dram, but without water it’s a regular sherry bomb.

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