The Balvenie is known for its honeycomb-led flavor profile. One week a year, The Balvenie distills a heavily peated malt. That week, known as Peat Week, leads us to this wonderful whisky. Distilled back in 2002, this 14-year-old expression from the famed distillery utilizes only peated barley – no non-peated malt here. That whisky matured in American oak casks.
In addition to being bottled at a modest 48.3% abv, Peat Week is also non-chill filtered.
Let’s dig in, shall we?
The nose is exactly what you’d expect. Notes of honeyed malt, wood smoke, lemon peel, and sweet oak abound. More of the same on the palate. A quick explosion of rich, sweet honeycomb and vanilla followed by a wave of tempered smoke. Some sautéed mushroom on the mid palate is accompanied by toffee and wood spice. The finish is clean and lovely, with hints of burnt orange peel, toffee, and peat smoke.
I love this “heavy” side of The Balvenie. I use the quotations for a reason. The Balvenie’s standard profile is generally that a lighter style whisky, though it still has some richness. The peat here is not heavy handed. Rather, it nicely balances with that honeycomb nature generally found in The Balvenie. Peat Week’s a great way to experience The Balvenie. At $99 a bottle, this is an easy recommendation. 8.5/10
Thanks to The Balvenie for the sample. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.