This idea of mine to pick up packs of miniatures to review was one of my better ideas. I get to bring you whisky reviews at a fraction of the cost! This week I have sampled The Balvenie Tasting Collection which includes the Balvenie 12 Doublewood (which we already reviewed a while back), the Balvenie 17 Doublewood and this rather interestingly named Balvenie 14 Caribbean Cask which is extra matured in rum casks.
Sounds interesting and exotic, doesn’t it?
They age the whisky for 14 years in traditional oak casks and then finish it off in casks that used to contain Caribbean rum. I do like a good rum from time to time so this was quite appealing to me and I was expecting some extra sweetness and fruity notes.
So did it deliver?
You will have to read my review of the Balvenie 14 Caribbean Cask that will begin as soon as this sentence concludes.
About the Distillery
The Balvenie is a Speyside single malt whiskey distilled in Dufftown, Scotland. The origins of the distillery go back to 1886 when one William Grant purchased a field near Balvenie Castle in which he laid the foundation stone for what was to come.
In 1892, work commenced on Balvenie New House, an 18th-century mansion, to transform it into a distillery, and a year later, in May 1983, the first Balvenie single malt was distilled.
William Grant became famous for being the first person to incorporate wood finishing into the final processing of his single malt. This process involved using ex-bourbon barrels for the first aging, followed by second aging in ex-Rum, Sherry, or Port casks.
The Balvenie distillery is only one of seven that has its own malting floor. It is also the only distillery that continues to practice all five of the “rare crafts,” including growing barley, malting barley, on-site coppersmithing, and on-site cooperage, or barrel making.
On the box:
“Rounded with vanilla and sweet oak notes and a fruity character that develops with time.”
Distiller: Balvenie Distillery
Age: 14 years
Ripe red and green grapes, mango, the rum comes through a touch but also some port, and caramel in the mix as well.
Chewy with tropical fruits, passion fruit and mango come to mind in particular, with a little peach. Sugar cane, molasses then some citrus in a subtle way and it’s also laced with golden honey.
Peppery with ripe peaches, sugary dark rum. A short finish but a good one.
This is a great whisky with some amazing flavors but it has one quality that really stands out and that is its’ uniqueness, something that I love in a whisky.
These whiskies that are “finished” in casks such rum, wine and port can be hit and miss but this one definitely works adding a fruity and sugarcane type quality to this drink that really lives up to its name. I can imagine sipping at this on a Caribbean beach sat in a hammock watching the sunset. Thinking about it, I’d be happy in that scenario with any whisky but that doesn’t detract from the quality this possess.
If you are looking for something a little different in a Scotch whiskey and like a bit of fruit and/or rum you have got to try this.
The Balvenie 14 Rating