Tuesday, 24 September 2013

The Balvenie Caribbean Cask 14

A FEW months ago, I was in a bar in Glasgow and spotted the Balvenie Caribbean Cask 14. Since I really enjoyed the Balvenie Doublewood 12 and wanted to try a whisky which had a hint of rum, I had no hesitation in ordering a dram. Thoroughly enjoyable it was too and, a few days later, I bought a 70cl bottle.
     Like the Yamazaki 12, there's only a small drop left, so I thought it was high time I put some thoughts down before the whisky disappears.
     The Caribbean Cask is aged for 14 years in oak barrels and is then finished in rum casks. For exactly how long isn't known, but my guess would be for a few months - just enough time for the whisky to take on some rum characteristics.
    On the nose, the rum makes itself known immediately, with hints of tropical fruits such as mango, pineapple and tart passion fruit coming through. But the sweet scents don't stop there and let the whisky settle for a few minutes and toffee apple, fudge, juicy raisins and sweet vanilla custard appear. It really does smell amazing and it's another dram which really comes into its own if you leave it for 10 minutes or so after pouring.
    Take a sip and the pineapple returns along with a dollop of honey, almonds and warming spices. The finish is long and delicious with hints of a raspberry and almond slice, lemon curd and golden fruit.
    It's another splendid drop from Balvenie, who, along with Old Pulteney, are fast becoming one of my favourite ditilleries. The Caribbean Cask might be a touch too sweet for some, but I think that sweetness will give the whisky a wider appeal and while another bottle is on my list, I plan on investigating other Balvenies before I return to this excellent dram.

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