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A heavily peated malt for a Speyside distillery, bottled at higher proof, Old Ballantruan is an unusually peated single malt from the Tomintoul distillery.
The nose is full and rich. There are notes of vanilla fudge and chewy toffee with shades of dried herbs and crème de cacao. There are notes of gentle peat and creosote with a touch of menthol and notes of malt extract. The palate is full and punchy. There are notes of barley sugar and toasted cereals, a cardboard note with hints of vanilla fudge and notes of chewy dark peat. There are tones of lemon marmalade and herbs. The finish is long and smooth with notes of soft wood smoke and barley sugar enriched peat.
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It has lots of peat, but it tastes young. Alcohol taste is a little hot. I like it. I don't love it. The price plus shipping to the US is to high for me to buy again. I don't hate it, but it's just not worth the $ for me to order it again. If I could get it at the supermarket for the price advertised here, I would.
5th February 2017
Caramel and chocolate then a hefty kick of peat and smoke with a long lasting finish. Try Old Ballantruan and be converted to peat whisky.
22nd August 2016
Love it, great taste of peat for an unusually speyside whisky . highly recommended
8th July 2016
Wow! What a Peated rhapsody coming from Speyside! Sweat peat, citrusy vanilla, heather mist, full and rich body and everlasting aftertaste. Very sweetish everlasting aftertaste... What else to say? Must try for all whisky lovers 👍
24th June 2016
I'm an Islay fan. I'm also a fan of the Macallan expressions. This, in my mind, is the absolutely perfect marrriage between the two experiences. The nose is RICH. What I get isn't vanilla or fudge at all. I get LOTS of fruitiness. Ripe red apples and cherries. It's almost as if I were sniffing a sherry butt. But oddly enough, there's none of that in this dram's pedigree. The palate is an explosion of flavor. This is the richest, most complex, and utterly unsubtle whisky I've ever tasted. On the tongue is where the peat comes into play. And I LOVE it. But it lingers in the background like an old friend. It doesn't hog the spotlight, it's there to support the complete explosion of sweet fruitiness that the nose has promised. There's a lot of sweetness there, and combined with the nose, it's an explosion of heather, too. It's a delight to roll around in your mouth. The finish...is SMOOOOOTH. It's a long and very pleasant reminder that you've just drank a swallow of fine scotch whisky. It lingers for a while at the back of your throat, but it does so in an extremely pleasant way...not a burn, but a wonderful warm tingle. I love this whisky. And I'm grateful that Tomintoul has made such a superb expression at such an incredibly wonderful price-point. Slainte!!!
8th April 2015
This is a great dram for the price. Needs a little drop of water to bring out the nose and taste wise it's sweet, full of sherry ness with good toasting of peat. Like an aberlour mixed with and ardbeg - only cheaper . Recommended
10th January 2015
Если капнуть воды - похож на Bowmore Legend.
10th November 2014
50% strong, but that can be ignored, for the sweet vanilla notes make it extremely enjoyable to drink as it is. To me it's really the perfect combination of peat vanilla. To hold in your mouth for a long time makes it even more worthwhile. If your able to breath out through your nose, while holding the whisky in your mouth, you'll notice another explosion of the perfect taste. Critical remark: The 10 yr old isn't half as good as the no-age Old Ballantruan.
8th April 2014
I have to admit, on first nose I wasn't taken with this whisky but upon adding a few drops of water the nose opens right up and delivers vanilla fudge in a big way! This is a peaty speyside with very little smoke. Imagine taking an Ileach (non cask-strength) and removing all smoke, throw in a vanilla sweetness and you have this Tomintoul gem!
21st June 2012
I discovered this only last week and have just ordered another 4 bottles. What a great find. Its fiery and chewy but not phenolic. A real surprise and highly enjoyable. A lot of taste for nearer £20 if you shop around hence my high rating.
14th February 2010