2005 Balblair 13 Year Old "K&L Exclusive" Cask No. 224 Cask Strength Single Cask Highland Single Malt Whisky (750ml) (ships as 1.5L)

SKU #1405371

The Balblair distillery is still one of the truly unsung heroes of the Highlands. Official record sets the founding in 1790, but illicit distillation was ubiquitous in these far-flung parts of the Highlands long before that. The little distillery just a stone's throw from Glenmorangie, offers some of the prettiest malt in Scotland. The water source, Allt Dearg, has slight peaty character which although not overtly detectable in the whisky serves to add complexity to the already layered malt coming from these small stills in Edderton. When the brand approached us with an opportunity to select casks directly we jumped at the opportunity. What really intrigues us about distillery bottlings is the potential to get the highest quality first fill barrels at full cask strength. Like all of Scotland's distilleries, stocks are relatively tight Balblair, but they understand that in order to win hearts and minds they need to offer something unique. Long ago the management decided to focus on vintage releases, much like Glenrothes in Speyside. Most distillers are not prepared to augment their production plan to accommodate a few geeks in California and we're very grateful that our friends at Balblair see the value in offering these special whiskies where it really matters, especially considering their extremely limited offerings. We selected this excellent 13-year-old from a first fill bourbon barrel for its balance and unbridled vibrancy. Be sure to add a splash of water to open it up.


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Price: $89.99
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By: Andrew Tobin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/30/2019 | Send Email
Distilled in 2005, this 13 year Balblair is something to behold. The nose is fruity and welcoming, with notes or orange, apricot, kumquat, and almond that adds a lovely creaminess to the bouquet. On second sniff you get baking spice and a hint of cleaner. The palate is warm and spicy with a slight hint of peat, malt, and a lovely nutty finish. All I can say is that for $90 this is one Scotch that you can't go wrong with!

By: Jackson Lee | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/30/2019 | Send Email
Beautiful to smell, a joy to drink. The nose was perfumed with sweet clementines, strawberries, dried apricot, nougat, blanched almonds and cedar saw dust. I kept going back to the nose, between sips, and eventually when the glass was empty. If they did make this into a perfume, it could spell trouble for whiskey enthusiasts. The palate shared similar sweet citrus notes, combined with honeysuckle and the lightest bit of vanilla. It starts off smooth on the palate but like a hot pepper, you start to feel the burn kick in towards the end and the spice just adds another warming dimension to the dram. The finish left me wanting to start the whole process all over again. A fun and light scotch that’s perfect for parties and guests (if you like sharing).

By: Illya Haase | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/29/2019 | Send Email
I love bourbon. So it's rare that I find a Scotch that for me hits that "sweet spot." Enter the Balblair 13 Year Old "K&L Exclusive" Cask No. 224 Cask Strength Single Cask Highland Single Malt Whisky. It has cracked my code. Aromatically, it opens up beautifully with subtle fruit, banana, toffee, and vanilla, and then the scent of light smoke fills the glass. I haven't even taken a sip yet! Complex, big, and rich, there's a complex array of wood, fruit, and spice. The finish is long, warm, and has the right amount of cinnamon and barrel char. This is perfect to enjoy while smoking a good cigar in front of an open fire. It's also perfect to enjoy on a Tuesday night with a frozen pizza from the oven. What I'm saying is that this is THE Scotch that will enhance ANY night!

By: Jeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/29/2019 | Send Email
This single malt is 55.6% abv but is easy to drink out of the bottle. But it is still better with a little water because the water opens the Balbair up and gives it a creamy mouth feel. The nose is interesting and complex, with sweet floral and a touch of vanilla and honey notes. In the mouth it is malty and round. It is not heavy and has a beautiful balance.

By: David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/27/2019 | Send Email
I was SO excited to hear that Balblair was doing single casks, not only because I typically love their standard offerings, but mostly because we so rarely get anything distillery direct and Balblair at full strength is extremely rare. We tasted through a number of samples, but this cask stood out for it's wild nose and very appealing profile. It starts with a gorgeous snappy malt, subtle cracked pepper, ripe grain, whispers of gravelly smoke and yellow plums. The palate is bold and full of zip, with the powerful orchard fruits. The American Oak is so well integrated with the softest prettiest tannin to balance the rich malt out. With a nice dollop of water the package becomes much much prettier. Tons of citron, musk melon, apricots, and subtle spice aromatic. The palate now shows more creamy butterscotch notes balanced by bold seville orange, dense dried herbal teas and those tiny hints of smoke popping back up. There's alot of whisky in this squat little bottle. We can't wait to see what else they pull out of the warehouse for us this Spring.

By: Will Blakely | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/27/2019 | Send Email
Balblair has been a consistent favorite of mine among highland malts for some time. Even the lower-proof distillery bottlings boast impressive quality and feel very much worth the price they command. This cask strength offering delivers some of the best flavor I have had from their line, and for under $100. Creamy toffee envelops banana, pear and apple, belying a persistent, nutty undercurrent. Ample spice compliments the rich sweetness, with nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla vividly framing the dense flavors and adding dimension. The structure here is immaculate, and even with a splash of water, the flavor remains absurdly dense. This is a truly special bottle, and I encourage any fan of classic Highland Scotch to pick up a bottle for themselves and other connoisseurs in their whiskey circles.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Malt

Country:

Scotland

Sub-Region:

Highlands

Specific Appellation:

Northern Highlands

Alcohol Content (%): 55.6