Review: Ballantine’s Christmas Reserve 2013 Limited Edition

Ballantine's Christmas ReserveBallantine’s has launched its fourth Christmas Reserve Limited Edition for 2013. Let’s take a look!

Colour: Rich and darkly fully golden.

Nose: Full of autumn fruit smells, sweet caramel, vanilla toffee, touches of smoke amongst malt, slight damp mossiness.

Palate: For something that’s 40% abv (and therefore assume chill-filtered) it has a pretty fair mouth coating to it, fairly rich and oily. It’s sweet and lusciously smooth, with honeyed wood noes coming through the maltiness really nicely. It’s well balanced, doesn’t feel too young, there’s no alcoholic nip to it.

Finish: Fruit, malt & honeycomb combine to give a warming hug on your chest with just a wee puff of smoke somewhere in the mix; the flavours hang around for a fair while.

Thoughts: You know what, I love this… it’s not particularly expensive (around £30 I think), it’s got loads of great flavour. It’s not high strength, but that doesn’t bother me in the slightest, it’s a dram you can pour for you and your friends/family and just sit back with your feet up and enjoy without being overly ponsy with water and faffing around. Drink and enjoy, its Christmas!! (If you’re like me it’s usually such a busy time of year you don’t have time to sit down with an expensive malt and properly enjoy it anyway, so have this instead!).

Available: Not found very easily online it seems, but I picked up a bottle from my local Sainsbury’s for £25! 🙂

Thanks to Ballantine’s for the sample.


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