The ageing cycle of a malt whisky is fraught with peril. As it matures slowly in the barrel its development must be followed closely to prevent it from extracting too much flavour, or “off” flavours from the wood. Only very few barrels make it to such a venerable age, improving all the while. Ageing in port barrels is also fraught with difficulty since the particular black and red fruit characteristics they can impart to a whisky are difficult to capture with precision and subtlety. This Balvenie 21 year old is a masterful exercise in barrel selection, maturation and wine-finishing.
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