Review: Balvenie Caribbean Cask 14 year old

Saturday, May 09, 2015


Last Christmas I asked anyone who was struggling for a gift just to buy a tasting collection like this Balvenie trio. Chances were amongst the samples there would be something new to experience and write about. After all there is nothing worse than a friend purchasing a blend that you've had on countless occasions previously - my cooking whisky bottle is already overflowing.

Unfortunately I have already tasted this trio and written about the DoubleWood 12 year old previously here and also enjoyed the Caribbean cask at an Edinburgh Balevenie event a couple of years ago along with the 17 year old DoubleWood. I never got around to writing about the other two drams. My memory of the Caribbean suggests a great nose set the expectation high and the taste fell somewhat short. Time for a refresher as we head to the Caribbean once again.

Distillery: Balvenie
Age: 14 year old at least
Strength: 43% vol
Additional: extra matured in a rum cask
Price: £45

Colour: peach skin

Nose: the effect of the cask is most evident not the nose with sunshine aromas such as coconut, lemon peel, mango and pineapple. Loads of vanilla with lemon loaf and freshly baked shortbread resulting in a very approachable and summer nose.

Taste: fails to live up to the nose with most of the fruits moving aside for a strong vanilla essence, golden syrup sweetness, oranges and shortbread once again. 

This is a good example for someone new to whisky wanting to experience an approachable dram whilst beginning to form an appreciation of cask influence. Inventive use of the a rum cask has given an average whisky a Caribbean freshness on the nose and more seasoning on the palate. 

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