Saturday, February 14, 2009

Malt Mission 2009 #333

Ballantines 17 Tasting notes
Ballantine's 17yo
Blended Scotch Whisky
43% abv
$100 (USD)

Happy Ballantine's Day!

Have received some very sweet emails of encouragement in Dr. Whisky's absence (hasn't been a post here since Jan 19!), so I thank you all. I promise to try some interesting drops in the coming days and share them with you and hope it makes up for my lack of consistent posting.

So I come back with a bottle poured at our wedding whisky bar, a blend from a company that has re-focused their approach to market in the wake of diminishing sales in recent years. I have posted in the past about how much I enjoy this family of blends and wish them the best of luck in the complicated blended whisky market that single malt nerdom and a splash of economic downturn has created.
Since the late fifties when this whisky was #1 in the USA, Ballantine's has slipped position and focused more in Europe and the Far East. It has always been held in high regard by the Dr., especially at mature ages.

For all Ballantine's had on the mission, click HERE.


Fresh and appetising. Red plums and apples, vanilla and white wine. Chestnuts over a mineral note, salt and a touch of soot.

Starts with a gentle puff of smoke followed by a rich and creamy mid-palate with raspberries and vanilla yogurt. Spices emerge and each sip becomes a wondefully well-integrated mouthful of whisky happiness. Really hitting the spot for me today.


With a touch of alcohol prickle in the nose, time in the glass or a generous cut of water really opens this puppy up where a fresh fruitiness intermingles with earthy coastal elements. The palate only delivers more of the latter in the lead with a creamy baked fruit complexity making this blend so enjoyable. Cinnamon and burnt sugar add a dessert element that gives final evidence of the quality of blending at the world's #3 blending house.

Malt Mission #331
Malt Mission #332

Malt Mission #334
Malt Mission #335

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Jason Debly said...

It's nice to see a positive review of this great blend. It is not common in North America as Ballantines seems to be concentrating their efforts in Europe and the Far East. Nevertheless, this is a great blend that should not be overlooked by serious scotch fans.


Jason Debly said...

Great review! I think this is a fabulous blend that is kind of under the radar, which may be partly due to the lack of marketing in North America. Ballantines 17yr old demonstrates that some blends can stand up to and meet the flavor profiles of single malts.