Thursday, July 26, 2007

Malt Mission 2007 #124

Balblair 10yo
Highland Single Malt Whisky
40% abv


Located just north of Glenmorangie (tasted Tuesday), Balblair is one of the oldest distilleries still in operation(1790), younger only than Strathisla(1786), Bowmore(1779), and Glenturret(1775).

An interesting stretch in the distillery's history not mentioned in my last Balblair post(Malt Mission 68) is 1909-1949. Asquith's proposed "people's budget" brought many great changes to social welfare but brought hard times to many industries, including whisky distilling. Owner Alexander Cowan lost the distillery and slowly stocks of Balblair were sold off. There are rumours that there may be (or once was?) some of Balblair from this era in Johnnie Walker Blue Label. Doesn't really make sense to me personally, but whatever (anyone buying up the stocks would have wanted to turn a profit immediately rather than wait 70years to invent a product in which to put the whisky). Through the Great War, the army took over the distillery. The distillery was saved from potential destruction after 36 years of uncertainty by Robert Cumming and production resumed in 1949. Balblair then became, and remains, a big part of Ballantine's aged blended whiskies.

Balblair has discontinued these aged statement releases and replaced them with a series of vintages, 1997, 1989(to be tasted tomorrow), and 1979. All Balblairs tasted in the mission can be found HERE


Soft and appetising. Breakfast cereals, sweet tropical fruits, coastal impressions with some salt and beachy earthiness.

Honey and nuts, Rolos, butter and some toastiness, all in a gentle/soft but weighty(flavourwise) impact. Salt in the middle. Drying with flavours of American oak and sucking on peach or apricot pits.


Great whisky, good balance of flavours, with general sweetness (grains, oak, fruits) dominating. Perfect for people who think they might not like whisky cuz all they've ever had are Bell's and Laproaig they stole from their father's liquor cabinet when they were 14. Highly drinkable. Great value, if you can still find a bottle.

Malt Mission #121
Malt Mission #122
Malt Mission #123
Malt Mission #125

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