‘Twas the night before Scotchmas and all through the house
Not a bottle was open — not even the Famous Grouse.
I wished I was nestled all snug in my bed
While visions of single malts danced through my head
But instead I was on line at the liquor emporium
Gazing at single malts, dreaming of pouring ’em.
“So many to look at, so many to try!
How on earth will I know just which ones to buy
For dear Uncle Herman and sweet cousin Mike
and my slave-driver boss whom I rather dislike?”
It was then that it hit me — I’d found my true calling!
“I’ll write up a guide for gift buyers who are stalling!
Some last-minute words on some giftable whiskies;
The men will admire me! The women will kiss me!
But much more important, a service I’ll render
So let’s get right to it — this poem’s at an ender.”
Balblair 2000 Vintage
Highland; 43% ABV, aged 10 years, $50
If you know someone who thinks that Scotch whisky begins and ends with those huge smoke-and-peat monsters, stick this under the tree or menorah for a really nice change of pace. You can tell the difference just from looking at the bottle; the color of the whisky is light, somewhere between honey and straw. The nose is full of apple, pear and honey, and on the palate there’s a lot of vanilla as well. But Balblair 2K is no delicate flower — it’s a young, vibrant whisky with plenty of spicy tingle to go along with the sweetness. Wood and leather notes creep into the finish, lingering for quite a while after the last swallow. I’ve found that many Highland malts occupy a middle ground between the velvety sweetness of a Speyside malt and the dry, smoky flavor of an Islay. Fans of both regions should find something to love about this one.
Balblair is the only single malt exclusively released in vintages. John MacDonald, Balblair’s Distillery Manager, handpicks each vintage and only releases them when they’re at the peak of their perfection. The Distillery, located in Edderton overlooking the Dornoch Firth, is built on a former Pictish settlement, which still features a 4,000 year old standing stone, the Clach Biorach. Each Balblair bottle is presented in a category-leading box featuring one of three atmospheric images of the view up the Dornoch Firth towards the distillery. Each image correlates to one of the vintages, beautifully portraying the distillery’s surrounding area, which was originally founded by John Ross of the Clan Ross in 1790 and is now one of the oldest working distilleries in Scotland. For more information visit Balblair on Facebook or www.balblair.com.
About International Beverage
Balblair is produced by International Beverage. (www.interbevgroup.com) IBHL was established in 2005, as the international arm of ThaiBev, one of South East Asia’s leading alcohol beverage companies. With a network of regional offices in Asia, Europe and North America, the company is responsible for the production, sales, marketing and distribution of a portfolio of premium global brands in more than 80 countries and territories. The company’s success is built on a strong understanding of local cultures and markets along with the creation of a global operational network.