Friday, June 06, 2008

Malt Mission 2008 #300

Balvenie Classic
Speyside Single Malt Whisky

43% abv

***price unknown***

Flew the amazing Porter airlines from Toronto Island to Newark, had a brilliant lunch with Charlie Maclean, and lugged my bags up 5 flights in an old walk-up in Hell's Kitchen: I have finally arrived in NYC, baby! And just in time for Malt Mission #300. Thank you so much for reading and supporting Dr. Whisky over these centuries of dramming. I raise a glass to you all. Cheers!

Discontinued in 1993, this old cognac-style (E&J?) bottle Balvenie is often referred to as "the tennis racket". It is a predecessor to the current Doublewood 12yo having been matured for many years in traditional casks (casks used too many times to be reasonably called ex-anything) and then finished in sherry butts. It also had an 18yo version that was more common and not finished in sherry casks.

I tasted this beauty with Sukhinder Singh and a room of whisky lovers and whisky makers that he had invited back to his batcave of whisky on the WhiskyLIVE London weekend after we had sat on a judging panel at the World Whisky Awards. Was a crazy day/night. As a result, my notes might not be 100% "scientific"... or accurate. It must also be admitted that many of SS's bottles have been open since the 1980s (exaggeration? maybe) so they may no longer be fair representations of their original selves. Nonetheless...


Buttery soft, warming nose with doughnuts, dried fruits and a meatiness of flesh, salt, and pepper, blood like a freshly seasoned raw steak. Garden weeds and a bit of smoke, too.

Oaky impact that blows flavours like warm air. Apricots, plums (sour?) rice pudding, but it is not sweet in the sugary sense, has a sherried sweetness and an oaky core. More meatiness like bacon and heavy sherried tones through the LONG jammy and fruity finish.


Confident and meaningful. Forward, fabulous, and doesn't faff about. Like a meaningful kiss from a long time lover or a hug from a much-missed friend. “It’s fucking good,” said John Glaser after a long sip directly from the bottle. Told you it was a great night.

Malt Mission #296
Malt Mission #297
Malt Mission #298
Malt Mission #299

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ce said...

happy 300!
take a bite out of the big apple for me!

Anonymous said...

#300!!!! Hiya Hiya

AO said...

Congrats on the successful move! Thought of you both as we enjoyed a Bowmore 16 and then a Laphroaig Quarter Cask on our newly screened in deck (Red Green style, i.e. a lot of duck tape). Misty night on the bay, cicadas quietly humming. Won't you join us sometime? Lots o' love. AO & JLO

Anonymous said...

Well done Sam! Good work chief.

I raised a dram of Ardbeg renaissance to you on Friday with Joel from

All the best, mate, keep in touch. Good Luck in NYC, love to K


Matthew said...

You don't look a day over 250.

Congratulations on 300!

Unknown said...

Yeah! 300!
look forward to visiting you in NYC! Greetings from hytta in larvik!

Ethan Prater said...

There was also a 12yo in this range. I found a bottle at a random liquor store in San Mateo, CA, in late '07. Paid $34.99 for it, I think. Here's a link to photos: