Review 396: Balblair 1989 21 Year

balblair19892ndSince I tasted so little Balblair’s I took part in a bottle share and bought 8 Balblair samples to get more accented with this distillery.

What they write about it:

Balblair Vintage 1989 2nd release was introduced in 2010. A full-bodied malt with aromas of raisin, green apple and hints of banana and lemon.

Distillery:Balblair Distillery
Location:Edderton, Tain, Ross-shire
Owner:Pacific Spirits > Inver House
Water Source:Ben Dearg
Stills:1 wash still
1 spirit still
Capacity:1.350.000 Litre of pure alcohol per year

Expression:Balblair 1989 21 Year 2nd release
Category:Single Malt
Bottled by:Balblair Distillery
Age:21 Year
ABV (% Alc):43%
Non-chill filtered:No
Natural colour:Yes
Phenols (smoke):0 ppm
Distillation date:1989
Bottle date:2010
Maturation:ex-Bourbon casks.
Cask number:N/a
Bottle number:N/a
Bottle content:70cl

White wine

A fresh, delicate and well balanced whisky with aroma’s of fresh berries (red currents, gooseberry, blueberries), citrus (lime and lemon) tangerines, malt, barley sugar, honey, yeast, global tones, green apple, vanilla, grass, straw, apricot, subtle oak, yellow apples, candied lemon peels, banana, hint of cardboard and hint of sultanas.

A soft, delicate and well balanced whisky with aroma’s of cherries, fresh fruits, apples (yellow and green), barley sugar, honey, hint of white pepper, subtle cinnamon, aniseeds, fresh mint, vanilla, ginger, citrus, tonic, bananas hint of solvents, butter and a subtle oak.

A medium to lang finish with aromas of pear, apple, banana, subtle spices (ginger, pepper and cinnamon), tea, vanilla and a hint of oak.

  • 8.9/10
    Smell: - 8.9/10
  • 8.4/10
    Taste: - 8.4/10
  • 8.6/10
    Finish: - 8.6/10


The aromas on the nose are very lovely and delicate but it lacks a bit of depth on the palate. it’s all very subtle but well aged. The floral and fresh fruit tones in this whisky make it a lovely summer evening dram. With a bit more oomph on the palate it would score a whole lot better in my book.

Price to quality ratio: 89,00% (Telgen weighted factor score)

Telgen scoreAdvice
0% - 60%Extremely overpriced whisky - not worth buying!
60% - 70%Highly overpriced whisky - think about it
70% - 80%Too expensieve - do you really want it?
80% - 85%No bargain - taste before you buy!
85% - 90%Acceptable price to quality ratio
90% - 95%Good price to quality ratio - always good to stock-up on
95% - 100%Bargain! - Buy it before it is sold out!