The Balvenie 21 Year Portwood Single Malt

The Balvenie [Bal-ven-ee] 21 Year Portwood is an uncolored delightfully smooth single malt Scotch that at times, goes down just a little too smoothly. It’s entirely far too easy to forget that you’re drinking a 43% alcohol/volume whiskey; but that’s only a problem for some people, some of the time.

The 21 Year Portwood, as the name suggests, is transferred to large Port Pipes (casks) that spent their previous 40 years holding Port before being repurposed for the creation of Scotch. Before this Scotch goes to the Port casks it begins its life in American Oak casks. The transfer to Port casks for the last few months of maturation adds a noticeable richness of sweet plum-like flavors. The Portwood obtains its noticeable fruit flavors without becoming overly sweet. Keeping the sweetness under control allows the Earthy flavors to keep their presence and this gives it an extra special layer on top of the light smokiness of burnt caramel. It’s an incredibly complex Scotch. When you combine all of this with its 21 year age, you end up with a Scotch that’s very smooth, savory, and deep.

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