Ballantine’s has been number 2 best selling blended Scotch whisky for many years with annual sales of almost 7 million cases (2017). Since 2005 the brand has been owned by Chivas Bros., subsidiary of Pernod Ricard.
Ballantine’s 21 years old was added to the range in 1993 (the brand was then owned by Allied Domecq) and is likely the spiciest expression in the range although its formula is still built around Glenburgie and Miltonduff. Sandy Hyslop, the current Ballantine’s master blender puts a lot of effort in the brand development, one of his latest creations is Ballantine’s 21 years old Warming Spices Edition introduced 2018. It is the first in a new series of 21 years old signature flavor limited editions showcasing the evolution of favor imparted by the cask over 21 years of maturation. The rich spicy flavor owes itself to the high proportion of whiskies aged in European oak.
Nose: spicy and oaky, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, licorice, vanilla, caramel, apples, pears, toasted oak and faint hint of smoke.
Palate: rich and spicy, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, vanilla, allspice, orange zest, apples, licorice and well-integrated oak tannins.
Finish: fairly long, with lots of spice, dried fruit, licorice, oak and a touch of peat