When I saw that Balvenie was releasing a higher proof (for them), age stated whisky finished in pineau des charentes casks I knew I needed one. I’ve been a fan of Balvenie since I started being able to afford drinking it and my last trip to Scotland deepened my appreciation for their whisky. I first discovered pineau des charentes finishing with Joseph Magnus’s Murray Hill Club Special Release 2 and was immediately a huge fan.
Age: 16 years
Notes: The sweet wine notes are prevalent right away with honey, pear and a hint of spice on the nose. The palate brings vanilla cream, fainter pear and more spice. The finish is long and soft with vanilla sweetness, subtle oak and touch of spice. The mouthfeel is excellent for the proof and the proof is well integrated letting you know it’s there without overwhelming.
Stars: 3 - Excellent whiskey: I would be willing to hunt down a bottle
All in all this is a fantastic pour and despite the higher price I’d definitely grab a backup if I came across one. I hope this leads to more releases like this from Balvenie and Glenfiddich.
TL;DR: Higher proof, 16 years, great finish, what’s not to love?