Ballantine’s whisky, creation of the Edinburgh grocer George Ballantine, debuted in 1869. In 1922 the family sold the brand to James Barclay and R.A. McKinlay who made fortune selling Ballantine’s whisky to thirsty Americans during prohibition.
Ballantine 17 years old was introduced in 1937, the year Hiram Walker & Sons became the brand new owners. 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 bottle presented here comes in our opinion from the 1980s/1990s, when Ballantine’s formula still featured Balblair, Glencadam, Scapa and Ardbeg.
Nose: rich, slightly floral, heather honey, toffee, vanilla custard, gingerbread, mix of dried herbs, allspice, prunes, raisins, oak and whiffs of peat smoke.
Palate: perfectly balanced, honey-roasted almonds, crème brûlée, vanilla, breakfast cereals, dried fruit, nutmeg, allspice, pepper, oak and peat smoke.
Finish: long, with notes of honey, dark chocolate, hazelnuts, raisins, hints of nutmeg and cinnamon, oak and whiffs of peat smoke.