The 14 Year Old Caribbean Cask is The Balvenie's most recent addition to their core product line. Here at ScotchBlog, we can only say that this is simply a work of art. Aged for 14 years then further matured in casks that previously held Caribbean Rum, master blender David Stewart has outdone himself with this incredibly complex, incredibly unique Scotch whisky.
We had the opportunity to sample a small dram of this spirit earlier this year when we met with Dr. Sam Simmons, the Global Band Ambassador for The Balvenie. Now that this expression is available on LCBO shelves, we decided that this release is definitely worthy of its own review.
Nose: Immediately after pouring, my olfactory senses were completely steam-rolled with the smell of freshly baked banana nut bread. I'm convinced that if you boiled this liquid, you could get your house smelling like you just baked. As you work your way through this richly aromatic nose, you're hit with honey and coconut. There's no doubt here, this is definitely a rum cask finish. I'd recommend adding a splash of water, which will evolve the coconut and honey into sweet vanilla.
Palate: This is a whisky that you need to chew on to grasp everything going on in the glass. There is a wonderful rich nuttiness that surrounds strong flavours of toffee and vanilla. To my delight, there is a stronger oak profile here than a typical single malt. Upon chewing on this dram further, one will peel back the layers to reveal some lemon citrus notes, wrapped in baking spices.
Finish: Allspice and nutmeg remain present on the palate as a white pepper zing is the last punch that this whisky has to give. The nuttiness lingers surprisingly long, right through a drying sensation that leaves you wanting for more.
Overall: This is an extremely clean, sharp, and well put together Scotch. There is so much complexity in this dram, that each time I pour myself a glass I discover something new. This is available at the LCBO for $99 in limited numbers, although as it is now part of The Balvenie's standard line, I believe the LCBO may be stocking this somewhat regularly.