The Bottom Line
- A luxurious scotch that is great for sipping, especially with a touch of water.
- If you're willing, it makes great cocktails.
- Limited edition release.
- Speyside single malt scotch whisky aged 17 years in American oak and Madeira wine casks.
- Limited edition release of The Balvenie in Speyside, Scotland.
- Released in 2009
- 43% alc/volume (86 proof)
- Retails for around $100/750ml bottle
Guide Review - The Balvenie 17 YO Madeira Cask Scotch Whiskey
If I were to purchase a bottle of The Balvenie Madeira Cask at $100 (give or take) I would probably not mix with it. However, the complimentary bottle I did receive allows me to feel less guilt; and so I mixed and it was great. If you are willing to throw this into some cocktails, I suggest sticking with the basics like a Rusty Nail. I also wanted to see how it would fare with fortified wines and it held up surprisingly well in both the Affinity (sweet and dry vermouth) and the Rob Roy (sweet vermouth only). Though, I have to give it to the Robert Burns, whose lone dash of absinthe and orange bitters made such a spectacular drink with The Balvenie Madeira Cask that I dare say it is the best drink I've had in months. When sipping this one straight I recommend trying it with a little water, even you are not prone to doing so, as it releases the Madeira qualities nicely.
The nose opens with a rich, semi-spicy oak with a sweet side marked by vanilla and a dash of honey and soft, baked apple. The taste begins with extremely smooth and sultry notes of oak and vanilla and develops into richer, spicier tones of dried fruits and cinnamon. The finish is medium to long and has a nice, deep oak that is dry and sweet at the same time.