Review: Ballantines 17, 12 Blends Day 4

So our blended whisky adventure continues today with day 4 from (@Ardbaggie on twitter): The lovely Ballantines 17

My guess, wrong as usual, was Cutty Sark, though I really knew this was wrong, but couldnt think of another blend I knew that had no smoke. I used to have a bottle of this a few years ago and it always had a hint of strawberry for me. Reassuringly, Jim Murray always posts slightly different notes each year…

Here are the dramstats:

ballantines-17-year-old-picture

  • ABV 43%
  • Age 17
  • Price £46

Nose:  Mild citrus (lemon), honey, sea salt, vanilla. Reminds me of lemon muffin

Palate: Mild lemon muffin with some ginger then toffee coated malteasers (instead of chocolate).

Finish: Faint lemon and ginger with oaky peppery spices and apple juice with toffee on the fade.

Verdict: I loved it! Quaffable and, with me on a diet, the lemon muffin link had me foaming at the mouth! It’s a great dram and I think, though expensive for a blend, is a bargain for the age. I would buy another bottle.

Whisky Advent Calendar: Day 12

Whisky advent day 12 and I’ve definitely noticed an up in the price of the drams since day 10. Yay!

This one was Ballantines 17 year old, Scapa edition. Scapa edition? You what? I was once the proud owner of a bottle of Ballantines 17. A fantastic blend which, until I’d had Cutty 18, was my favourite affordable blend. So what’s all this Scapa edition nonsense?

Well the idea was that this blend was created to highlight the Scapa influence on the blend (Scapa being the “other” distillery on Orkney, home of Highland park). OK, so should be interesting, here are the dramstats:

ballantines17scapa

 

  • Price £67.18
  • ABV 43%
  • Age 17

Nose: Honey, slightly coastal, chocolatey peat. Faint dried fruits and green notes, something different every sniff. It’s obviously complex but not as well integrated as the normal 17. Coastal more prominent.

Palate: Malty and slightly harsh. Fruity at first then taken over by malt and a harsh bitterness.

Finish: Slightly malty, touch of cocoa and white pepper with spicy oak.

Verdict: An interesting advent calendar dram definitely. However, this is not as nice as the normal Ballantines 17 and is far more expensive. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. I would recommend just buying the original!