Balblair replaces vintages with age-statement whiskies

Mar 28, 2019by Melita Kiely

Highland distillery Balblair has moved away from vintages in favour of a new collection of age-statement whiskies that range from 12 to 25 years old.

The new series comprises four aged expressions: a 12-year-old, 15-year-old, 18-year-old and 25-year-old, all bottled at 46% abv in a new bottle design. Balblair 12 Year Old has been aged in American oak ex-Bourbon and double-fired American oak casks, and is said to have notes of dried orange, ground spices and vanilla. It will be priced at RRP £45 (US$60). The 15-year-old has been first matured in American oak ex-Bourbon casks, before being transferred into first-fill Spanish oak butts to deliver notes of dark chocolate, tropical fruit and vanilla. It will be available for RRP £75 (US$99). First left to rest in American oak ex-Bourbon casks, the 18-year-old was then aged in first-fill Spanish oak butts and is said to have flavours of apricots, vanilla custard and raisins. The whisky will be priced at RRP £120 (US$158). The oldest whisky in the range, aged for 25 years, was first filled into American oak ex-Bourbon casks before undergoing a second maturation period in oloroso Spanish oak. It is said to have notes of citrus, chocolate praline, fresh tobacco leaf and blood oranges, and will carry an RRP of £500 (US$658). Set to launch in the UK on 28 March, all four whiskies will be rolled out across Russia, France, Germany and China from April. Matthew Jamieson, brand manager for Balblair, which is owned by Inver House Distillers, said: “Our whisky isn’t changing: Balblair will always be a single malt Scotch whisky of premium quality, with a true Highland strength of character. “We’re immensely proud of our new collection and confident that the flavour profiles, along with super-premium packaging, will reinvigorate Balblair and excite consumers.” Speyside distillery Glenrothes also made the decision to move away from its usual vintage-approach to whisky last year when it introduced a range of age-statement Sherry cask single malts.