The Balvenie 17yr Sherry Wood

Speyside – 43%ABV – 750ml – $80-100 (another HUGE spread!) | £85 | €104

And so I begin Balvenie week.

You may have noticed, if you’ve poked around the blog a bit, that I’ve only reviewed one expression of The Balvenie so far: The Balvenie 17yr Madeira Cask.  Truth be told, Balvenie whiskies have always been whiskies I’ve held very dear and, until now, I haven’t really wanted to share my thoughts and notes on them.  Selfish, I know.  But, they were mine.

Well, times have changed.  And as I tell my daughters every day, Sharing is Caring™.  So, all this week, I will be sharing my thoughts on some very nice expressions from The Balvenie.

What’s more is, every day this week, in addition to my notes, I’ll be featuring some exclusive videos of people from The Balvenie distillery and they too will be sharing with you.  They will share what their favorite Balvenie expression is and why.  A BIG ‘ol thank you to Sam Simmons (aka Dr. Whisky) for the footage!

Video #1 – Stuart Watts, Distillery Manager at The Balvenie:

While I won’t be reviewing the DoubleWood today (that review is forthcoming…this week), I will give you my notes on their 17yr Sherry Wood:

On the nose A strange nose of this Balvenie.

Sherry, for sure but hints off the bat of salted meats (while I’m not smelling this here, I’m struck with a memory of roast beef and mayonnaise sandwiches for lunch in the 3rd grade – I wasn’t raised kosher or vegetarian.  My, how things have changed).

Smoked cheese and cinnamon.  Some slight dried fruit and chocolatey notes.  Shaved dark chocolate.

Big sherry now but the Balvenie honey notes smooth out the sharpness I find in many sherried whiskies.

On the mouth Soft, almost watery entry.  Let’s try this again…

Soft for sure yet, less watery – thinned oil (in texture).

Third sip and, wow!  It’s like a game of whisky tennis in my mouth – Balvenie honey & citrus notes bounce over to prunes and Ice Cube chocolates (the candy), back to the honey then soft vanilla.

This whisky is so soft that this can be lost on the sherryheads out there.  This is not an attack of sherry.

This, like most Balvenies I’ve had, just screams of elegance.

Finish A slightly salty finish, medium long and with traces of almonds and dark chocolate.

In sum This is one to relax with but also one to get your mind going.  Start concentrating on the whisky then move onto bigger life issues.