Review 407: Balblair 2004 10 Year

balblair2004bourboncTasting some young Balblairs in a row, they are all 10 years old and matured in ex-bourbon casks. Let’s see how they compare.

What they write about it:

Balblair 2004 was launched exclusively for the Travel Retail Market in March 2014. This first release of bourbon matured Balblair 2004 is golden in appearance and fused with the unmistakable Balblair aromas of orange, lemon and green apple.

Distillery:Balblair Distillery
Region:Highlands
Location:Edderton, Tain, Ross-shire
Owner:Pacific Spirits > Inver House
Founded:1894
Status:Active
Water Source:Ben Dearg
Stills:1 wash still
1 spirit still
Capacity:1.350.000 Litre of pure alcohol per year

Expression:Balblair 2004 10 Year - 1st Release
Category:Single Malt
Bottled by:Balblair distillery
Age:10 year
ABV (% Alc):46%
Non-chill filtered:Yes
Natuurlijke kleur:Yes
Phenols (smoke):+/- 0 ppm on barley
Distillation date:2004
Bottle date:2014
Vintage:2003
Maturation:Ex-bourbon casks
Cask number:N/a
Bottle number:N/a
Bottle content:100cl

Colour:
White wine

Smell:
A fresh, young, fruity and subtle whisky with aromas of a faint whiff of fresh smoke (almost BBQ like), coumarin, citrus, vanille, fresh fruits, apple, pear, lemon peels, a slight herbal tone, earthy and subtle oak.

Taste:
A spicy, sweet, fruity and young whisky with aromas of white pepper, ginger, cherries, citrus, berries (bramble, red currants), red apple, backed apple, green banana, cereals, candied ginger, cinnamon, cardboard, pineapple, floral tones, tannins (its quite dry), peach, more pepper (even chili pepper) and subtle oak.

Finish:
A medium long and peppery, dry finish with aromas of chili peppers, white pepper, hot ginger, vanilla, tannins, backed apples, apple juice, tannins a wood spice.

Marks:
  • 8.1/10
    Smell: - 8.1/10
  • 8.2/10
    Taste: - 8.2/10
  • 8/10
    Finish: - 8.0/10
8.1/10

Conclusion:

Yes it’s young and lacks depth. But it’s also vibrant, fun and drinkable.
They bothered to put a vintage on the bottle (age is calculable) rather than create a fancy name and equal fancy story around this whisky. No instead Balblair gives you a natural coloured whisky with a vintage. I have to praise them for that.
I’ve tasted this in a horizontal tasting of the 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2004. They are all quite similar but not the same.

Price to quality ratio: 88,68% (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!