For these wintery nights there’s nothing like a good Scotch whisky to provide that warm feeling for the discerning gent. Followers of the Drinks Cabinet will know that Elysium Magazine is partial to a good whisky expression. It’s why this next entry to the famed cabinet list is Balblair 1999.
Balblair is a Highland single malt whisky of the traditional sense. Think about the lush grassland glens of Scotland with water filtered through aged-old stone and you’d be thinking on the right lines. The uniqueness of this particular Balblair line up is that its whiskies aren’t marked by years such as 12, 18 etc. Instead each expression is marked by the year it’s bottled which in Elysium Magazine’s view is a better way of celebrating each vintage. There are expressions for 2005, 1999, and the oldest 1990.
For this drinks cabinet entry, the focus is on 1999 – or 99 as the bottle suggests. The first thing the discerning drinker needs to know about 99 is that it’s one mighty fine whisky expression that’s on its second release, replacing the 1997 expression. Distillery manager, and Master Distiller, John MacDonald has timed this one to perfection. The special thing about 99 is its versatility – much like a sharp three-piece suit that’s slick in the boardroom and then later at the bar.
Taking its character from both American and Spanish oak, this whisky is a great all-rounder that will suit all tastes. First appearances give off a warm amber glow that draws you in. On the nose the discerning drinker is hit with aromas of honey and fresh green apples but search a little deeper to get notes of spice, citrus and vanilla. On the palate it’s full bodied – the sweetness of honey blended with spice and a hint of vanilla. Finally, the finish is long and warm.
Balblair 99 is 46% ABV and available in 70cl bottles directly from Balblair or The Whisky Exchange. RRP £60.95
For further details, visit Balblair