European oak sherry butts give this single barrel expression a mature personality of roasted nuts, dried fruit and spices. Released in 2014, this whisky showed how diverse and wonderful limited editions sourced from a single barrel can be. You get around 800 bottles from each butt, meaning all the bottles are numbers and, thus, highly coveted.
Roasted hazelnuts, figs, dates and dried berries remind you of a fruitcake. At the same time, citrus hints keep the expression balanced and fresh. Allspice aromas hit you last in an ever-evolving bouquet of extraordinary quality.
A syrupy texture and rich notes of dried fruits, roasted nuts, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and baking spices make this malt a serious contender for the best in the age category. Hints of bitter smoke balance the malt’s sweetness. The evolution in the palate is astounding; it surprises with every sip.
As the vast array of flavors roll out into the aftertaste, you can feel all those layers: the hazelnuts and almonds, the winter spices and the unique signature of Oloroso casks -- the fruit.
Sip or skip?
You don’t want to skip this one. The fact that only 800 bottles in the world taste precisely like yours is priceless. Blending is great, but single barrels are what Scotch is all about, a real sense of place in each sip. Balvenie’s malt master does a great job selecting these barrels.
Other Balvenie expressions to try
If you enjoyed The Balvenie Single Barrel 15, you’ll love the youngest expression that completes the set, the Balvenie Single Barrel 12. You won’t get the nutty flavors or the pure dried fruit aromas, but you’ll be rewarded with a honeyed malt with a good dose of warm vanilla.