Balvenie Peat Week 14 Year 2017 Release (2002)

Scotch Whisky Review #408: Balvenie Peat Week 14 Year 2017 Release (2002)

Distillery: Balvenie.

Region: Speyside.

Age: 14 Year. Distilled in June of 2002. Bottled in 2017.

ABV: 48.3%

Cask Type: American Oak

Price: Sample courtesy of /u/_asipper.

Color: 1.0, Deep Copper. Non-Chill Filtered.

This sample was reviewed blind. The label was marked “Justice” but no hints were given beyond that it was a malt whisky.

Nose: It’s a fun mashup of a very light peat, lemons, and dandelions. Lemon is the most dominant note here, mainly freshly squeezed lemon juice note. The combination also kind of reminds me of Ricola cough drops.

Palate: That Ricola note really takes hold on the palate. The main note is of a lemon hard candy with wild honey and some wild flower notes. There’s some warm toasted malt barley as well.

Finish: Medium to long in length. The bit of peat comes out here after hiding away in the palate. Charcoal grilled lemons is the main centerpiece and deliciously so. There’s a note that reminds me of nurungji (scorched rice / 누룽지) but made with barley instead of rice.

Guess: I’ve never had peated (or unpeated for that matter) Glenturret but for some reason I want to say peated Glenturret. It definitely comes off like a peated Highlander or Speysider more than an Islay or otherwise. Age wise, I’m going to guess it’s 10-12 years old and 46-50% ABV.

Reveal: Balvenie Peat Week 14 Year 2017 Release (2002)

Conclusion: No way I was ever gonna guess that one right! Balvenie’s peated releases seem to fly off the shelves and I can see the appeal. While it isn’t mind blowing, it’s definitely a lovely marriage of a lighter, fruitier style with peat. The balance throughout this one was quite nice with that lemon note from start to finish really tying things together. Perhaps there was more I missed but the Ricola note of lemon hard candy, honey, and some flowers was so prominent in my mind that it was hard to see past that. The charcoal grilled bits in the finish along with the scorched rice-like notes really helped make this so it wasn’t just another light and fruity whisky. Not bad, not bad at all.

Final Score: 81.

Note: I’ve made some changes to the scoring legend, the descriptions have been updated slightly to match my actual scoring a little better.

Scotch Whisky Review #408, Speyside Review #150, Whisky Network Review #562

Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky and I will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection if feasible.
  • 85-89: Very good to amazing, almost the complete product and I’m likely wanting a bottle or two.
  • 80-84: Quite good, pleasant overall though there is usually a few things that could be improved still.
  • 75-79: Good, enjoyable to drink but ultimately flawed.
  • 70-74: Alright, solid and 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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