[Review] The Balvenie - 14 year old Caribbean Cask 43%

I have great colleagues who know me pretty well, so at the end of November, they treated me to a bottle of Balvenie 14 Caribbean Cask for my birthday. The Caribbean Cask label refers to the rum cask finish that this Balvenie has had before being bottled. This is the first bottle of Balvenie I own but also the first one I have tried. According to the Balvenie's website, their "Malt Master David Stewart, filled American oak casks with his own blend of select West Indian rums. When he judged the casks to be ready, the rum was replaced with the 14 year old spirit and the wood was put to work adding the final touches." Therefore it seems to suggest that the spirit has spent more than 14 years in a cask (or that the finish was rather short). The Balvenie is located next door to the Glenfiddich distillery in Dufftown and is one of the rare distilleries to still grow and malt their own barley. 

Both the presentation tube and the bottle look great but it's the golden nectar inside I'm interested in... It doesn't state anywhere on the packaging or bottle that the whisky was unchill-filtered or colouring free so I presume this isn't the case. It was also bottled at 43% ABV.

Nose: Where I first opened the bottle, the first thing I smelt was some kind of vegetable which evolved into sweeter caramel. Going back to it I now pick up fresh/tropical fruit like mango and grapefruit with hints of vanilla and rum.

Palate: Rather creamy with vanilla, toffee and stewed apples. I find the rum to be very discreet.

Finish: Quite soft with some vanilla and some rum coating your mouth.

With water: The nose gets buttery and sweeter with rum and raisin, and butterscotch notes, the palate is still very creamy with vanilla, fruit and rum.

A very enjoyable dram, away from my usual Islay favourites!



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