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The Balvenie Tun 1401 is the almighty plaything of esteemed master blender David Stewart. The Balvenie Tun 1401 is a vat, which for the uninitiated is like a barrel on steroids... or imagine the Incredible Hulk as a bucket. In this monolithic cask this wizard of whisky concocts his most lavish expressions of the Balvenie Single Malt. Some say self-indulgent, others say genius; however we can all agree the finished product is always wondrous to behold.
Batch 5 is a blend of five sherry casks and four bourbon, married together for three months in Tun 1401 and bottled at cask-strength. The result is sublime.
Nose: A thousand milk chocolate bars unwrapped and melted in a cauldron over an oak fire. Punnets of dried fleshy fruits are then thrown in with cinnamon, nutmeg and tumeric to create a rich malty fug of whisky.
Palate: Batch 5 has a mouthfeel silkier than silk, more like velvet than, well... velvet. The chocolate returns but this time with slices of oranges and lemons, then it opens up in a wave of caramel and butterscotch.
Finish: The finish is layered like an onion, if each layer was a different citrus fruit/brand of toffee/type of spice. The subtlety of this whisky is in the finish, as it opens up and reveals more and more: fresh fruit, ground coffee, malt, the list goes on and on.
Overall: Few whiskies offer such dexterity whilst maintaining drinkability. The Balvenie Tun 1401 Batch 5 is impeccably balanced and soft but without ever compromising flavour or intricacy at any point.
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11 out of 10. What can I say. I paid $750 and its worth it. Its not going to be easy to find. Ive heard Batch #1 is the monster though. David Stewart really knows what he is doing. Its a masterpiece.
8th July 2016
WowHad the privilege of receiving as a gift from a good buddy who knew I preferred the Balvenie but could not rember which year . So he opted for the most expensive in the store! What great taste no pun intended. I usually don't love chocolatey and cinnamon in my flavor profiles. But the review here is spot on. It somehow works and is not overpowering. Caribbean cask has been my go to for the past year or so and this was a surprise for me and is kept on display for on top shelf
25th January 2013
I had the pleasure to try this at a Balvenie tasting event. This whisky is utterly delicious, for me it the perfect whisky! Sweet, smooth and superbly sherried, with a complex finish like drinking liquid gold.
14th August 2012