Filed under: Spirits
Balvenie Peated Cask, $130.00, is comprised of a marriage of 17-year old Balvenie finished in new oak and 17-year old finished in casks that had previously held an unreleased experimental heavily-peated Balvenie distilled in 2001.
The nose on this expression is honeyed malt, which is The Balvenie's signature, soft oak dried apricots, orange liqueur, with some wood smoke notes chasing the fruit. The smoke is more pronounced on the tongue: indeed it overshadows the fruit. There is a saltiness in the finish typical of Laphroaig.
As Islay malts have grown in popularity, some of the Speyside and Highland distilleries, that generally do not malt their barley with peat, have been playing around with peat finishing to broaden their portfolios.
The Balvenie 17 is interesting, but not as pleasing, I think, as its core expressions. If you want peat, buy an Islay malt I say.