Bought: Online Whisky Auction, 20th May 2015
85/100 – Whisky Bible 2006 (for ‘new’ version)
85.25/100 – Whiskybase (average from 6 member votes)
There seems to be a bit of confusion about the decade this bottle comes from. Serge Valentin of Whiskyfun reviews a similar NAS (non-aged statement) bottle from the 1970s and ‘The Whisky Exchange’ once sold a bottle they think was from the 1980s. My assumption is that the bottlers, Gordon & MacPhail (G&M), had the same label across the 2 decades. Based on the condition of my miniature Balblair, it seems more 80s than 70s. It’s the mullet and shoulder pads that gave it away.
It’s a shame Jim Murray didn’t start publishing his ‘Whisky Bible’ before 2004. I would have been interested in his opinion. The G&M 10yo he reviews in 2006 gets 85/100, which classifies it as “very good to excellent whisky definitely worth buying”. Mr Murray says only 5 words “a chewy, clean, malty dram”. What more can you ask for! Perhaps 46% instead of 40%, and a yacht in the Caribbean. But was this Balblair 10yo better or worse back in the 1980s? 85.25/100 on Whiskybase seems to suggest it was better. I’ve noticed that Jim Murray is more generous with his scoring than the members of Whiskybase, so getting over 85 is an excellent mark from them. Shame I only have 5ml. If you happen to find a bigger bottle at auction, brace yourself for that big, clean, malty chew!
Malt Han’s tasting comments from Whiskybase:
“Malty and fruity aroma, orange, ripe melon, banana, vanilla, peat, oak, prunes and cinnamon. Vanilla sweet taste, liquorice, mint, malt, apples, orange marmalade and almonds. Medium long, fruity and spicy end.”