Balblair is bringing its age-statement collection of single malt Scotch Whiskies to the United States, just in time for the holiday season. The Highland distillery’s revamped portfolio was first unveiled in 2019 and includes four whiskies, a 12-Year-Old, a 15-Year-Old, an 18-Year-Old, and a 25-Year-Old.
In a move away from the distillery’s recent ‘vintage-only’ approach, the launch of this collection signals a new era for Balblair. While each expression offers its own unique appeal, the series as a whole stays true to Balblair’s house style, following a gentle and considered approach with its focus firmly on quality over quantity.
“As one of the oldest working distilleries in the Scottish Highlands, Balblair has a long and rich history of crafting premium single malt Scotch whisky,” said John MacDonald, Distillery Manager at Balblair. “We are proud of our heritage and we will continue to honor our centuries-old traditions, but we also look forward in a quiet pursuit of perfection.”
On the new series, MacDonald also commented, “Our new collection is intrinsically linked to our heritage and is testament to the place and the people behind our whisky, while being emblematic of our ‘True Highland Spirit’.”
The Balblair 12-Year-Old matured in American oak ex-bourbon and double-fired American oak casks. Bottled at 46% ABV, it offers elegant bright lemon peel aromas layered with creamy vanilla and crisp green apples. The palate features ground spices and dried orange slices enveloped in intense set honey sweetness. The finish is creamy and leathery with notes of sweet vanilla. It is priced at $69.99.
The Balblair 15-Year-Old matured initially in American oak ex-bourbon casks, followed by first-fill Spanish oak butts. Bottled at 46% ABV, It offers aromas of leatherwood honey and spicy gingerbread followed by juicy prunes and fresh lemon peel. The palate is velvety in texture, bursting with dark chocolate, tropical fruit and spices. The finish is long and mellow with notes of creamy vanilla and citrus It is priced at $119.99.
The Balblair 18-Year-Old matured initially in American oak ex-bourbon casks, followed by first-fill Spanish oak butts. Bottled at 46% ABV, on the nose it delivers rich toffee and baked pears shine bright against an elegant backdrop of new leather. The palate is a masterful balance of juicy apricots, seasoned oak and vanilla custard. The finish is long and warming with chords of fresh spices and raisins. It is priced at $209.99.
The Balblair 25-Year-Old matured initially in American oak ex-bourbon casks then reshaped in Oloroso Spanish oak. It offers indulgent aromas of overripe apricots and dark licorice stand out against polished oak and a touch of saddle wax. The palate is full-bodied with oily citrus, chocolate praline and a faint note of fresh tobacco leaf. The finish is warming with smooth chocolate and blood oranges. It is priced at $699.99.
Inspired by Balblair’s past, the packaging for the new collection is reflective of the distillery’s idyllic location. It takes subtle cues from the surrounding landscape: its pure Highland water source and the Pictish ‘Z-rod’ carvings etched on the ancient Clach Biorach standing stone located on the distillery’s doorstep. A larger logo area and new label font have also been incorporated into the design.
“Our whisky hasn’t changed: Balblair will always be a single malt Scotch whisky of premium quality, and remain true to its renowned character, “ said Laura Young, Brand Manager for Balblair. “The updated collection, complete with a new range of age statements and super-premium packaging, is a testament to the dedicated distillers who patiently craft our award-winning Highland whisky.”
Initially introduced in 2019 outside the United States, Laura added, “We’ve had an extremely positive response to the new collection from consumers around the world and we’re excited to now be sharing it with whisky fans in America.”
The Balblair core collection is now available in the United States from the brand’s new importer, Hotaling & Co. Currently distributed across eight states (CA, CO, IL MA, NH, NJ, NY, and TX), consumers can find the Whiskies online and at retailers in each market. Beginning in 2021, Balblair will be available in additional markets.