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Old Ballantruan 10yo ~2013, 50%

Old Ballantruan is neither ‘old’ in the sense of being established, nor is it from Ballantruan distillery. It is the peated version of Tomintoul aka ‘the gentle dram’, and the name is taken from Ballantruan Spring, the source of Tomintoul’s water.

 (public image)

Tomintoul was founded in 1964, and intended as blending malt from the get go, it is this fact that makes its motto all the more understandable. But what happens when the gentle dram wants to jazz it up a bit with a light dressing of peat? You get ‘Tomintoul With A Peaty Tang’ (not kidding). And if the gentle dram really wants to turn up the octane? Then we get Old Ballantruan, peated to approximate Kildalton levels. In truth Tomintoul makes only unpeated spirit and, for a few weeks a year, a heavily peated spirit. The two are blended to make ‘Peaty Tang’.

You might remember Tomintoul used to grace the shelves of the DFS at Changi, I remember a 10yo and a 16yo, the 16yo was indeed gentle and pleasingly blended with enough sherry influence and without too much active wood, not unlike a softer Balvenie.

 (whisky.de)

Unsurprisingly, Tomintoul’s stills have a boil ball and have upward sloping lyne arms. But what happens when a spirit intended for softness is loaded up with phenols?

OldBallantruan (commercial image)

Nose  Nose: Quite powerfully peaty! A smoky rootiness and something exhaust-like. Not really maritime at all – no salt! Behind that some spirity green apples and ground up sand. But that’s about it. With water: More earth, water reveals some sweeter elements. Sugary pastry glazing. barley candy.

Taste  Palate: Sweet smoke, big sooty peat, something sugary again. Maybe a hint or two of some fruit and that’s it. Body is somewhat lacking in weight, buckling under this peat and all. With water – ash, some acrid bitterness, something carbolic.

Finish  Finish: Medium-short, smoky sugar water.

Score62

 

Nope, seems like the peat really dominated the spirit and the result is unbalanced.

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This entry was posted on March 19, 2015 by in Old Ballantruan, Tomintoul and tagged , .
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