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Ballantine's Very Old 21 year old

I was actually quite surpised when a little research revealed I had not yet reviewed this expression.  It is not because this is a blend, I am no blendist and some of my best friends are blends.  I think it is because Ballantine's can "fade into the background" a little.   The difference between their bottlings is often not dramatic so maybe it is easy to mistake this on shelf for the excellent 17 year old (which I have reviewed) or even their standard Finest expression.  Perhaps there is something to all this marketing hoopla afterall?  Anyway the nose has lots of classic citrus, baked good and oak notes.  I wrote down "lemon meringue pie in a wooden box".  The taste is sweet with vanilla, golden syrup, cinnamon and smoke, very nicely balanced and complex. More spice and smoke notes in the finish.  Gets sweeter with water, syrup turns to toffee.  A classic, aged blend with a little bit of everything you might like in Scotch and not one dominant note or tone.  Worth the wait.

Additional Info

  • Country of Origin: Scotland
  • Type: Blend
  • In '101 Whiskies to Try Before you Die': No
  • In '101 World Whiskies to Try Before You Die': Nope