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The Balvenie, Sherryoak 17-Year-Old (Scotland)
Sherried expressions of William Grant's Dufftown-distilled Balvenie single malt are rare beasts, but this new Balvenie release illustrates just how well the whisky handles European oak when nurtured by someone like Balvenie Malt Master David Stewart, who has been working with Grant's brands for more than 40 years.

The best-known example of The Balvenie to have been matured solely in Sherry casks was the 50-year-old ‘Cask 191,’ just 83 bottles of which were filled in 2002 with a retail price tag of £6,000 per bottle. This 17-year-old expression is altogether more affordable at £60, and has been held in European Sherry butts, previously used to mature Oloroso Sherry, and purchased from the bodegas of Spain.

The nose presents well worn leather upholstery, cloves, medium-dry Sherry and delicate liquorice. Delicious on the rich, ripe palate, with flavours of fruity Sherry, nutmeg, cinnamon and tangy spice. Water releases pleasing vanilla and oak notes. The finish is lengthy, with stewed fruits, tasty spices and a hint of oak. The Balvenie SherryOak is available from autumn 2007 on strict allocation in markets which include the UK, USA and France. For more information see www.balvenie.com. 43.0% ABV, 70cl, £60.00, specialist whisky merchants.

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