Aged for 43 years in just two American ex-bourbon casks, this single malt whisky is the oldest vintage in Balblair's U.S. range.
Situated in the Highlands region of Scotland, the Balblair Distillery was founded in 1790 by John Ross. For over a century, Ross and his son, Andrew, sheparded the distillery forward. In 1895, however, the distillery was purchased by Alexander Cowan, an Inverness wine merchant, and relocated to be closer to the Edderton Railway Station (at the time, coal and barley arrived at the distillery via rail). Nevertheless, Cowan was so impressed by the distillery's original water source (the Ault Dearg burn) that he chose to ignore a nearby burn in favor of the water that the Ross family had been using for over a hundred years. Today, the Balblair Distillery continues to source its water from the Ault Dearg burn.
Balblair Single Malt Scotch Whisky is made from plump, ripe Scottish barley, which is malted and fermented using water from the same source the Ross Family began using nearly 225 years ago. Following fermentation, the grains are twice distilled through the Balblair's copper-pot stills. After distillation, Balblair's stillmen remove the heads and tails of the distillate and preserve only the "hearts"for maturation (the hearts comprise less than 20% of the entire distillate).
Unlike other Scottish distilleries that bottle their whiskies with an age statement, Balblair Distillery bottles its whisky with a vintage statement. This method of bottling, which emphasizes maturity rather than age, allows Balblair's Distillery Manager — John MacDonald — to bottle the whisky when it has reached its peak flavor profile. "There's something quite special about a perfectly matured, Highland single malt whisky," says MacDonald. "About having the essence of a vintage year, captured in a bottle. About tasting it. About feeling it."
Balblair 1969 Single Malt Scotch Whisky was distilled in 1969 and aged for 43 years in American ex-bourbon hogshead casks, before being bottled at natural strength in 2012. The 1969 vintage is the oldest in Balblair’s entire U.S. portfolio, and extremely-limited due to the fact that only two casks were used to produce the entire release.
Balblair 1969 Single Malt Scotch Whisky has a rich amber color, along with an aromatic nose filled with apples, pears, bananas and a hint of vanilla. The aroma gives way to notes of honey, toffee and tropical fruits, and leads to a long, full-bodied finish.
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82.2 (41.4% ABV)
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Rich amber color, along with an aromatic nose filled with apples, pears, bananas and a hint of vanilla. Aroma gives way to notes of honey, toffee and tropical fruits, and leads to a long, full-bodied finish.