Monday, 16 December 2013

Whisky Discovery #671

Ballantine's Christmas Reserve NAS (40% abv, 2013)
Blended Scotch Whisky
Circa £25.00
Whisky Discovery
Although not my first ever Ballantine's whisky (I was foxed by a Ballantine's 17 Year Old - Whisky Discovery No.375 earlier this year in the #12Blends of Easter tasting) this is the first individual review for one of their range, which is surprising considering Ballantine’s is the number one Scotch whisky in Europe and second placed in the world with the range selling over seventy million bottles a year worldwide. 

Towards the end of last month Ballantine’s launched their 2013 Christmas Reserve Limited Edition, the fourth release since it was first introduced in 2010 and we've managed to get hold of a sample to review.

So What Did We Think?
This certainly has a rich tarnish copper colour, but being a blended Scotch whisky assume that caramel has been added to give this rich warm colouring.

The nose is very gentle, and although initially opening up with a soft sweet grains note develops some spicy tangy orange notes with juicy sultanas. Soft candied ginger notes and Caramel toffee follow and there's a touch of liquorice root in here too. After the first sip sweet honey notes appear. Not overly complex, but enough to interest the Christmas whisky connoisseur for a quiet moment of reflection.

Soft and gentle is the theme on the palate too, sweet with mandarin orange juice, runny honey and ginger spices, gently warming, and easy drinking leaving a sweet malty finish. The finish is quite short, but no shorter than I would have expected for a 40% abv blended Scotch. Again there are some nice flavours in this bottle and if there is just one bottle of blended Scotch in your drinks cabinet for Christmas why not have the Ballantine's Christmas Reserve on hand?

Currently available in Sainsbury's for £25 a bottle

Many thanks for to Ballantine's for the sample 

The 2013 Ballantine’s Christmas Reserve Limited Edition is available within 15 markets around the world now, including in Vietnam, the UK and Global Travel Retail. The price varies according to the market, with an RRP of £30 within the UK.

Slàinte and Merry Christmas! Dave

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