I have tasted the new releases from Balblair Distillery of a couple of times now. They are the 12, 15, 18 and 25 YO. The bottles have been given a new design.
Well, I will not give a full review of each whisky, but a brief comment with a total score. They are all bottled at 46 ABV. They are available in Norway:
12 YO: Matured in first-fill bourbon casks. Definitely my favourite of these four! So fresh! Green apples, eucalyptus, grass (in a good way!) and wax on the nose. The taste is still fresh with green apples and crispy pears. Light and rich at the same time. The finish is lingering with a crispy, peppery freshness. My score: 88.
15 YO: Initially matured in bourbon casks before first-fill Spanish oak butts. It actually smells a bit like Cognac! I also get the smell of a whisky warehouse, lots of oak, some caramel and something metallic. The taste is quite oaky and sour. A bit like green grapes. The finish is dry and sour. My score: 79.
18 YO: Initially matured in bourbon casks before first-fill Spanish oak butts. Quite sharp, thin, oaky and woody on the nose. Glue and solvent notes. Still quite sharp and oaky on the palate. Bitter, like orange peel. Some tobacco and leather. The finish is dry and oaky. My score: 75.
25 YO: “Matured initially in American oak ex-bourbon casks, and then reshaped over the years in Spanish oak for exceptional complexity.” Complex and smooth on the nose. Fruity! I get apricots, mango and other tropical fruits. Some caramel. The taste is rich and sweet. Caramel and heavy fruitiness. Papaya and ripe mango. The finish is lingering with light fruity notes and pepper. My score: 87.