Ballantine 17 years old was introduced in 1937, the year Hiram Walker & Sons acquired the brand.
It was created by George Robertson, Hiram Walker master blender, James Barclay and James Horn and marketed as “The Scotch” (there was no other 17 years old blend available those days). The original formula featured, as described by Scotch Whisky Association, Ballantine’s Magnificent Seven – Ardbeg, Balblair, Glenburgie, Glencadam, Miltonduff, Pulteney and Scapa. The brand is currently owned by Chivas Bros., subsidiary of Pernod Ricard and it is guaranteed that some of the “Magnificent Seven” have been substituted – definitely Ardbeg, most likely Balblair and Pulteney and probably Glencadam.
Nose: mildly smoky, spring meadow, honey, caramel, vanilla, buttered toast, apples, pears, raisins, garden herbs and oak.
Palate: vanilla, toffee, honey, milk chocolate, caramel, banana bread, baked apples and pears, cinnamon, oak and fading hint of smoke.
Finish: fairly long, with notes of honey, vanilla, dried herbs, hints of hay and tobacco, oak and touch of peat.