Today I have a Speyside 1988 on the menu! Now this is an interesting one.. As it is stated on the bottle that this is a 29 year old blended malt, but I have heard (from reliable sources) that it is actually a Burnside, which is tea-spooned Balvenie.
It is also reasonably well known that this tea-spooning sometimes doesn’t even take place… Meaning this could well be a single malt Balvenie. But the name can’t be used and Burnside is also trademarked by Cadenheads. But still if you consider the fact that this is most likely a 29 yar old Balvenie for a fair 145 euro… Oh well, let’s just see what it will bring.
This Speyside 1988 has matured in a hogshead and is bottled at 49,7% ABV. Cask no. 403.
Speyside Region 1988 tasting notes:
Nose: Floral notes, honey, pears and some woody notes too. Also quite some spices that appear after some time in the glass. With water: more fruity but there is still some cinnamon influence.
Taste: Beeswax, and floral but also some additional wood. It’s quite well integrated and there is a very nice sweetness with again these floral aspects. It’s not overly complex, but the age is showing with the wood influence. With water: It becomes honey flavoured but the spices remain. Some apples here as well.
Finish: Peppery, spices, cinnamon and woody tones followed by some honey. When I just openened the bottle there were quite a lot of spices which was almost overpowering the whole experience. But I re-tasted the whisky after the bottle was open for a fair amount of time, and the spices are a lot less prominent, which I think helps the whisky to become somewhat fresher. The wooden aspect in the finish is also less prominent now.
A very nice and typical Speysider, but only after a little while. When the bottle was just open, the whisky was way too woody. But after a few weeks the woody aspect disappears into the background and the sweet, floral and fruity notes take over. And then it becomes a solid whisky!