Thursday, 4 June 2009

Balvenie – R.I.P.

balvenie_10

I live in a small, Northern Ontario town.  No matter how small a town is, in Ontario, it must have an LCBO.  You just don’t get the selection you have in the larger cities.  You can order in any malt that LCBO carries but I’m an instant gratification kind of guy.  Before I came up here, Balvenie was kind of a gimmicky brand that stood out on the shelves by including little trinkets or a mini-bottle of another casking.  But in my two years of exile (and counting), Balvenie has been my rock, my go-to malt, my sweet relief from another shitty day at work. 

A $50 bottle of a Speyside, 10 year old malt.  Smooth and buttery with a lingering finish that complements the initial flavour.   Michael Jackson (the scotch-taster, not the kiddie-diddler) describes it as honeyish and that sums it up perfectly.  When I’d run out of malts I’d picked up down South, it was a pleasure to pick this up locally.  And I’m incredibly sad I won’t be able to do that anymore.

Heading to the LCBO today, after a particularly crappy day, I was stunned to find my most dependable drinker missing from the shelves.  The clerk said it had been discontinued and she didn’t even seem broken up about it.  My choices were then Oban (awesome but $100), Glenfiddich (flat, good only for getting drunk fast), and Glenlivet (smooth but uninteresting, the scotch that started me on malts).  I went with nostalgia and I’ll write more about it after I crack it.  But it can’t make up for the loss of my beloved Balvenie.  RoyalMileWhiskies.com says Balvenie will be back with a 12 year old signature bottle and I can only hope it matches the value and taste of the 10 year old.

Honey butter.  4 shots!

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