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Drink Review: Ballantine’s Finest Blended Scotch Whisky

Blended from more than 50 single malts (with particular emphasis on Miltonduff and Glenburgie) as well as 4 single grain whiskies. Ballantine’s Finest is a smooth, satisfyingly modern blend, now picking up serious momentum in overseas markets under owners Chivas Brothers.

Ballantine’s Finest Blended Scotch Whisky Review:

 

Ballantine’s Finest is a rich, complex blended scotch that channels the best elements of its parts. Flavor-wise it’s smooth, smoky, and perfectly balanced with a strong “single-malt” character. It takes its name from the original Ballantines 1750 blend, which was created by the granddaddy of whiskey himself, John Ballantine. Forbes lists it as the third best value for your money among blended scotches.

On the nose, you’ll get a very dominant single malt nose of fruity scotch, with an herbal note that reminds me of juniper berries. There are also aromas of a very smoky / peaty scotch like Laphroaig, but Ballantine’s hangs in there quite nicely. On the tongue you’ll encounter a lot of familiar whiskies in there: the aforementioned Miltonduff and Glenburgie, as well as Laphroaig (peat / smoke), Caol Ila (fruity / malt), and Highland Park (herbal / citrus).

Ballantine’s Finest Blended Scotch Whisky Review:

Aroma: The dominant characteristics are fruity whisky, herbal, and peat.

Taste: The dominant flavors are malt (fruity / caramel) and peat.

Finish: Smoky/peaty.

 

Ballantine’s Finest Blended Scotch Whisky is a rich, flavorful whisky that does a great job of blending the best elements of its parts. It’s light in the mouth (despite the strong malt noses), with a very “single-malt” flavor throughout. If you’re looking for a good introductory blended scotch, you could do a lot worse than Ballantine’s Finest.

Ballantines Finest contains a combination of more than 50 single malt whiskies. Each component has been selected to deliver a rich malt character with a distinctive regional flavor.

Famous Grouse is blended from more than 40 single malt whiskies, chosen to convey the distinctive character of each of the Scottish whisky regions.

The color of the whisky comes from coloring matter added before bottling.

 

Ballantine’s Finest Blended Scotch Whisky Review:

Color: Rich Amber.

Nose: A lot of fruit-smokes from the malt: heather, orange, and dried cherries.

Palate: Medium weight (almost like it can’t decide if it’s going to be a really nice english ale or a really nice blended scotch) with a lot of fruit-smoked malt characteristics. There is a good dose of smoke as well.

Finish: a great finish that’s smoky and smooth. It really emphasizes the fruit-smoke and allows you to enjoy it for several seconds.

Overall: I love Ballantines. It’s a great value, and a nice holiday scotch. I always keep a full bottle on hand for guests who show up unexpectedly.

Get it on sale, drink it neat, or use it in a classic cocktail, Ballantines delivers.

 

Ballantine’s Finest Blended Scotch Whisky:

Color: Rich Caramel.

Nose: A lot of malt on the nose here, with some good peat and a bit of smoke. You get a hefty dose of the smoky peat, but it’s a nice change of pace than when you’re used to smelling a fruity – scotch.

Palate: You really get some peat and vanilla on the palate – and they’re well mixed. It’s sort of reminiscent of peated malts you find like Laphroaig and Ardbeg.

Finish: A good finish, but not like the Laphroaig / Ardbeg monsters that have killed me. I’d say it’s a similar finish as the Macallan Select, which is: long lasting but not too intense or deep. It’s a very nice, long lasting finish.

Overall: I like Ballantines. It’s a very nice scotch that’s great for the price. It’s a good drink for when you want to drink something that’s still got that great malt essence that’s strong enough that you know it’s there, but it’s smooth and not too rough. Great for regular drinking, and a great value.

Get it on sale, drink it neat, or use it in a classic cocktail, Ballantines delivers.




Written by Mark Adams

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