Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Tasting: Balvenie. Caribbran Cask. 14 Year

The Balvenie Caribbean Cask 14 year
Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Distillery: The Balvenie
Age: 14 years
Region: Speyside
ABV: 43%
US Price: $70
Release: Ongoing
Cask: Ex-bourbon cask/finished in Rum casks

Points: 89/100

The Balvenie Distillery, namely well known Malt Master David Stewart, is known for pioneering the process of two cask maturation in the 80s, often referred to now as “finishing”.  Unlike then, finishing is now a very common and widely used process in whisky making and has contributed to some amazing releases.  The Balvenie has used finishing for a number of releases over the years and is responsible for much of their core range including both 12 and 17 year Doublewood expressions, the 21 Portwood and of course the 14 year Caribbean Cask.

The 14 year Caribbean Cask is matured for 14 years in ex-bourbon barrels before being finished in Caribbean Rum casks.  The current release of this rum finished whisky came out in 2010 but had a few different iterations in the years before; a 14 year Rum Wood Finish in 2005, a fully matured Rum Cask 17 year in 2008 and a 14 year rum finish in 2009.  As much as I wonder what that 17 year Rum Cask tastes like, this 14 year Caribbean Cask does not disappoint.

Nose: Tropical fruits, mostly passion fruit, white grapes, with softer notes of vanilla and caramel.  Very creamy with hints of fresh grass.

Taste: More fresh fruit on the palate than tropical. Green apples, caramel, toffee and icing.  Very syrupy mouthfeel with a slight malty and vegetal note on the back of the palate.

Finish: Long finish.  More white grapes and a hint of nutmeg then a strong lingering note of caramel apples.

Photo & Review By: Cody Diefenderfer