From vintage to standard
For many years, Balblair pursued a product philosophy that was rather unusual for the whisky world. The Balblair Single Malts have been on sale since 2007 as vintage bottlings, i.e. vintage whiskys. Normally, barrels of different years are always "married" for the distillery bottlings. This is done in order to be able to offer a whisky that is as consistent as possible over the years. Because the malt develops differently from cask to cask, from year to year. This policy of vintage bottlings has now been overturned and the usual bottling with age information has been adopted. A bit of a shame, because the vintage concept was an exciting addition to the classic age statement whiskys for whisky lovers. But the many variations were probably too confusing in the end. Balblair remains an enormously exciting, aromatic and creamy Highland whisky. Overshadowed by its big neighbors Glenmorangie and Dalmore, Balblair produces a great non-smoky Highland single malt. A visit to the distillery is highly recommended!
What does Balblair mean? The translation is “settlement on the plain”.
Where is Balblair? The Balblair Distillery is located in the North Highlands in Edderton not far from the Dornoch Firth.
3 reasons to love Balblair
1) Because the year of birth alone deserves respect.
2) Because the North Highlands can be so delicious.
3) Because the town of Edderton is known for its peat, but the Balblair has its own style.
What does Balblair whisky taste like?
Balblair is a very interesting Scotch Whisky. Because it has its own character and is difficult to put in a flavor corner. The single malt from Blablair is on the one hand very aromatic and creamy on the palate, on the other hand it often shows many spices and a light chilli catch. Balblair gets strong vanilla tones and notes of pear juice from ex-bourbon casks. With age, especially in sherry casks, Balblair gains an enormous depth of aromas, which can range from cigar box to wild berries to liquorice. The basic character is powerful and spicy and persists even in old age.
Our Balblair recommendation
The Balblair 12 Year Old shows the sweet vanilla side of the distillery well. If you like the influence of sherry in whisky, reach for the Balblair 15 Years or Balblair 18 Years.
A bit of history on Balblair
The original Balblair Distillery was built by John Ross in 1790. After his death, his son Andrew took over the distillery. In 1872 he added new buildings to the complex, and the old ones became warehouses. When Andrew Ross died in 1873, his son James Ross continued to run the distillery. In 1894 the distillery went to the tenant Alexander Cowan, who rebuilt it a few kilometers from the original location. Economic problems forced Cowan to close the distillery in 1911. In 1948 Robert Cumming, a lawyer from Keith, acquired Balblair and resumed production a year later. In 1970 Cumming sold the distillery to Hiram Walker, who merged with Allied Vintners in 1988 to form Allied Distillers (later Allied Domecq). Since 1996, Balblair has been part of Inver House Distillers, which in turn is part of Thai Beverages plc. Balblair single malt is an important part of the successful Ballantine blend.
Balblair facts & figures
Address: Edderton, Tain, Ross-shire IV19 1LB
Founded: 1790 by John Ross
Owner: Inver House Distillers (Thai Beverages plc)
Capacity: approx. 1,800,000 liters
1 wash still (19,093 l)
1 spirit still (11,044 l)
Water: Ault Dearg Burn
Visitor Centre: yes
Telephone: +44 (0)1862 - 821273