Last night (Tuesday December 3), I attended a tasting of Balblair vintages. We tasted five whiskies, 2003, 1997, 1990, 1983 and 1969, prefaced by a glass of Balblair’s base spirit.
The 43% expression - which has been hand-blended by the brand's master blender Sandy Hyslop from measures of “rare”, aged whiskies - was introduced in South Korea in March, ahead of an Asian roll out beginning with Asia Duty Free in September.
A permanent expression within Ballantine’s range, brand owner Chivas Brother said only 100 bottles of the whisky will be released globally each year.
Bottles, each individually numbered, are priced upwardly of US$7,000.
They are presented in a wooden cabinet and feature a stopper, collar, seal, label and base cup, all made of silver.
Peter Moore, global brand director of Ballantine's said: “Ballantine’s 40 Year Old epitomises everything Ballantine’s scotch has stood for since the days of George Ballantine.
"The culmination of a unique heritage of producing high aged whiskies, Ballantine’s 40 Year Old will appeal to those who appreciate the experience of tasting such an exceptional whisky which is a unique part of Ballantine’s history.”
According to Chivas Brothers, tasting notes are as follows:
Colour: deep and intense; nose: rich; bursting with flavours of ripe pears in syrup, intermingled with rich fruitcake, a hint of cinnamon and root ginger in the background; taste: incredible depth, exceptional multi-layered flavours of rich toffee and sweet soft red apple; finish delightful finish that last an incredibly long, blissful time.