Balvenie Caribbean Rum Cask

Balvenie: Caribbean Rum Cask: 14 Year (Scotland Speyside Single Malt Whisky: 14 Years: 43% ABV)

Visual: Dark gold.

Viscosity: Quite fast middling width streaks.

Nose: Planed wood. Raisins. Marzipan. Dried fruit. Water adds potpourri and musty notes.

Body: Custard slice. Raisins. Eccles cakes. Malt chocolate. Mixed spice. Apricot. Dry. Cinnamon. Vanilla. Water makes much sweeter – Golden syrup, mulled wine and almond.

Finish: Shortbread and spice. Malt chocolate and orange. Cinnamon snaps. Water adds dried apricot and Christmas spice. Quite dry.

Conclusion: I’ve always been a sucker for Caribbean rum aged whisky. I first encountered it back at an airport duty free with Bushmills 12 Year Caribbean Rum aged. Seriously, can someone bring that back, it was amazing. Anyway, since that day this particular finish has been one of my soft spots.

The Balvenie benefits similarly, the smooth and sweet character gains a rambunctious air of spice and raisins that gives a more energetic party feel. Strangely here the spice calls to family Christmas spice and cinnamon snaps rather than a full on pirate “me hearty” style. Probably a good thing. For all their cool points these days pirates were dicks. Anyway, I digress, the smooth easy character of Balvenie keeps this spicy party family friendly. Well, family friendly for an alcohol drink.

I grew up in Yorkshire. We started young there. Don’t judge me.

The whisky is slightly warming and spiced over apricot fruits and custard sweetness. It comes with a very drying finish, but apart from that the rest is easy to drink, and with a lot to explore as you do.

The dark raisins added into the lighter fruit makes for a great compliment of styles. The malt chocolate notes you get in the underbelly of Balvine with water seem a tad out of place here thematically but doesn’t hurt the actual flavour of the whisky overall. Which is the most important thing.

Overall the rum adds greatly to an already pleasant whisky making for a good combination of easy drinking and spice liveliness. A good one to have in any cupboard.

Background: Miniatures! All the fun of a big bottle, no need to splash out on 70cl of stuff you may not like. A bit pricy per ml but worth it in my opinion. This came as part of a nice three pack, and the Caribbean Rum cask stood out as the one to try first. Had already reviewed one other, and have a 17 year double wood still to go. Picked up, almost predictably by now, from independent spirit. Drunk while listening to a random shuffle of Erock’s metal tunes.