Nose: Very fruity, with Speyside flavours dominating. Raisins, plum, banana, green apples, strawberry jam, cream, tiramisu, cinnamon and nutmeg. Time brings out more depth, with barley, honey and sugar cane creeping in.
Palate: This is more like it. Some very sophisticated baking spices lead us gently into a gentle sweetness. Cinnamon, nutmeg, malt, dates, white pepper, vanilla pudding, curdled milk, cereal, and some caramel.
Finish: Not very long, but quite dynamic. White chocolate, licorice, charcoal, pecan, caramel, vanilla, maraschino cherries, sugar cane, barley, hay, and a touch of salt.
Thoughts: Quite nice. The rum notes give it a complex, gentle sweetness. This also boasts some nice baking spices, the likes of which you might find in some of the better Glenlivets. Finally there’s a roasted maltiness in the finish which reminds me of Glen Elgin. However as a rum lover (and a rum-finished whisky lover) I wish the rum notes were more assertive. As one should expect from Balvenie, this is first and foremost a quality Speysider. It certainly has a sweet, cane sugar presence, but I suppose I was hoping the finished notes would be more forward. While you aren’t whisked away to a tropical Caribbean island, you’ve still got a solid Speysider with a lovely rummy, tropical twist. Good.