17 Years Old

ABV 43%
REVIEWED Issue 17, Issue 55
Brand: Ballantine's
Expression: 17 Years Old
Type: Scotland Whisky / Blended
Age: 17 years old
ABV: 43%
Country/Region: Scotland
Bottling type: Standard (Distillery or blended)
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Ballantine's Distillery, Dumbarton, Dumbartonshire, Scotland
Taster   Michael Jackson
Nose: I could be in a leather armchair before a peat fire in the Highlands. Tinge of soot-very evocative.
Palate: An astonishing freshness. Some cereal-grain sweetness. Grassy. Burnt grass. Peat.
Finish: Dry. Elegant.
Comment: The blending skills at Ballantine have long been renowned. The 17 has always seemed to me the most eloquent demonstration of that. Beautifully composed and mature.
Taster   Dave Broom
Nose: Gentle and soft: green banana, coconut milk, hot gorse, honey, whipped cream. With water, there's subtle smoke and summer fruits.
Palate: Very smooth start, then lifts into dry smoke and spicy oak which balance the citric juiciness, gooseberry jam, vanilla and general fruitiness.
Finish: Light sherried notes and smoke. Gentle.
Comment: An example of superb blending skills. If this tasting is about balance then this is a perfect example, every element pulls together in harmony.
Taster   Dave Broom
Nose: This needs water to reveal smoke, cooked vegetable, cocoa, walnut, wet leather and coffee.
Palate: A soft and quite creamy start then a burst of coal-like smoke halfway through. Hint of vanilla, orange juice, cream and biscuity crunchiness.
Finish: Medium length and very juicy.
Comment: I was surprised when the bottle was revealed. This has been a favourite for a while, but not on this occasion.
Taster   Martine Nouet
Nose: Musty. Earthy peat notes. Mushrooms, wet leaves. Oozing dampness. Then rich biscuity notes. Lemon cake. Touch of beeswax.
Palate: Enticing sweetness. Silky feel. Salty sensation. Peaty, rooty. Teasingly tingling. Spicier with water.
Finish: Dry, sherbety. Nutty. Dry walnuts.
Comment: Quite a rustic profile, warmed up when aerated. Seems to have retained the waterfalls from all Scotland!
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