6 January 2019

Balvenie 15yo Single Barrel 1997-2013

A Balvenie in its pure form, albeit a bit thinned with water at 47.8% ABV. It’s a bottle that we had around for a while now, so it was about time we wrote something about it.

This ex-bourbon matured Balvenie is a favourite among many whisky lovers. To be honest, we were never that impressed with it, but we can see why it’s loved. It offers a good level of sweet freshness and delicacy.

Tasting notes


Orchard fruits and lemon cake, mature wood, tropical fruits and gum balls. Biscuits and milk. Quite the nose, wouldn’t you say?


The palate is fresh and a little harsh at first, but through it shines fresh citrus, pineapple, sweet barley and a hint of garden mint.


A fruity finish with lots of typical bourbon cask influences: coconut, vanilla, biscuits and lemons. It’s a bit grassy and has its fair share of sweet barley, topped with a hint of vanilla glazing.

Apart from the harshness on the palate, it’s a dram we can get behind. Although personally I’d prefer something a little ‘deeper’, considering its popularity and price. It took a lot of time to convince. This ex-bourbon version is now replaced with the 15yo Sherry Cask single barrel, which sounds tasty. But the price keeps me from taking a gamble.

My gut feeling says I need more Balvenie in my life, but I find it hard to find a bottle that suits my needs. I’ve had my fair share of Double Wood in the past, and that wasn’t my piece of cake. So, I’m looking for your suggestions!

Balvenie 15yo Single Barrel 1997-2013