Balvenie 14 Year Old Caribbean Cask Whisky Review And Tasting Notes
The Balvenie 14 years Caribbean Cask is a very soft, decadent single malt, with a solid tropical fruit that takes over, overshadowing the primordial charm of the pure malt of the Highlands.
Of course, we can’t always drink hard and pure whiskeys, but this distillate is particular, enveloping, but it winks without restraint.
What is the reason for this velvety and fleshy touch, which is the polar opposite of the aromatic profile of a classic Speyside dram?
How is it produced?
As you well know, the distillery is one of the few that grows its barley, then malt it, “cooks” it in the kiln, grinds it, makes it ferments, and distills it twice.
After 14 years of aging in oak wood, it passes through used barrels selected by the distillery to make rum. But they are not barrels used by other producers that are then bought: everything is homemade, every detail is studied, and even the rum blend is carefully chosen to give particular flavors and aromas to the final whiskey. Such dedication is commendable and speaks volumes about Balvenie’s care in producing their whiskeys.
The nose results from this final refinement: the malt is clear, biscuit, but the fruit has been covered by the caramelized and tropical note of Caribbean rum.
Cooked apples, honey, and a herbaceous thread underline the nobility of the malt. Flowers and spices are booming everywhere.
The wood is well dosed: it frames with a light and elegant spiciness. Good variety, but the tropical note of mango can be unsettling.
Wide and greedy mouth, it is a velvety, warm fabric distillate, which layer after layer alternates medicinal and vanilla flavors.
The drinkability is good. The heat pushes on the palate creating peppery and spicy tips but then leaves the mouth very clean with a hint of ripe fruit and almond.
Excellent persistence, mottled and sunny finish with returns of caramel and cinnamon. Overall, it has a complex aromatic volume that is very broad, rushes, offers a thousand ideas, but it is not precisely austere and territorial.
In summary, it is a very creamy and sumptuous whisky, meaty and sensual in aromas but never mushy on the palate; however, it is particular, not the classic Speyside single malt. It never expires in coarse stylization. It also maintains certain originality and deserves a chance.
If you are a Taliban of the pure malt of the Highlands, forget it.
Price of Balvenie 14 years Caribbean Cask
70-75 euros: a fair price for a rich, well-made single malt whiskey with undeniable quality.