Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Balvenie PortWood (21yr, 47.6% alc)

This bottle was purchased at the duty free shop at Heathrow airport in London by my drug running cohort that goes by the nickname "The Wind". This 21yr concoction is a marriage of rare whiskies, matured in traditional oak casks and then transferred to fine port wine casks. David Stewart, the Balvenie Malt Master, samples this regularly to ensure that exact amount of flavor is reached from the port casks. Sounds like a miserable job...

So here I am...sitting in my living room, watching my beloved Cubbies lose the 2nd game of a double header, while I crack this gorgeous bottle of single malt heaven. The statuesque bottle had been staring me in the eye for about 2 weeks like a sad puppy that just lost his favorite bone. As I carefully unwrapped this gem, I thought long and hard before I poured. I tried to decide whether or not to dispense a conservative amount or to say f*** it and let 'er rip. You can probably guess which one I chose.

The color is a breathtaking reddish copper with a hint of dark chocolatiness. The provocative color gave off a very sweet yet elegant aroma. David Stewart suggests to give a few short sniffs, then fresh air and a few more short sniffs to catch the initial flavors. I roused the whisky and took my first taste. As the radiant elixir hit my tongue, it felt as if my taste buds were swashbuckling with battle axes made of hazelnut and caramel. The finish was that of a ravishing big fat silk sandwich on thickly sliced pumpernickel bread. It was DAMN good.

NOSE: A bouquet of fruity and ripe raisin notes, backed by a chocolately fragrance.

PALATE: Refined with remarkable character, it is creamy and silky with hazelnut, caramel and spice notes.

FINISH: Long, tender, symmetrical with a warmhearted aftertaste.

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