Hepburn’s Choice K&L Exclusive “John McCrae” (Balvenie) 28 Year Blended Malt (1991

Scotch Whisky Review #318: Hepburn’s Choice K&L Exclusive “John McCrae” (Balvenie) 28 Year Blended Malt (1991)

Distillery: Blended Malt, tea-spooned Balvenie.

Bottler: Hunter Laing.

Region: Blended Malt, Speyside.

Age: 28 Year. Distilled in 1991, Bottled in 2020.

ABV: 43.0%.

Cask Type: Refill Hogshead.

Price: Sample courtesy of /u/I_SAID_NO_GOLDFISH.

Color: 0.2, Pale Straw.


Nose: It’s quite funky and a tad fruity. It smells a bit like medicine, specifically Salonpas pain relief patches. There is some citrus that comes through as well with a hint of sugary malt.

Palate: Its a mixed bag of candies. Milk chocolate is the main note. Lemon and orange jolly ranchers and a bit of cotton candy come through as well. A touch of hay wraps things up.

Finish: Medium to short in length. Vanilla, milk chocolate, and a bit of malt are the notes that stood out.


Conclusion: My experiences with Balvenie, which is largely limited to the official bottlings, have been that none of it ever seems to really knock it out of the park. Be it well aged or fairly youthful, all of it seems to come in fairly similar. This tea-spooned bottling doesn’t do much to change that impression. The nose is weird with a medicinal funk throughout. The palate and finish are a nice mix of candies, but none of it quite delivers the wow factor. Would I buy a bottle? Unlikely.

Final Score: 81.


Scotch Whisky Review #318, Speyside Review #120, Blended Malt Whisky Review #11, Whisky Network Review #461


Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
  • 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection (if feasible).
  • 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
  • 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
  • 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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