Ballantine’s whisky, creation of the Edinburgh grocer George Ballantine, debuted in 1869.
The brand remained in hands of the founding family until 1919 when it was purchased by James Barclay and R.A. McKinlay who made fortune selling Ballantine’s whisky to thirsty Americans during prohibition. Hiram Walker & Sons took over Barclay & McKinlay’s business in 1937, the year after acquisition of Glenburgie and Miltonduff distilleries. Since 2005 the Ballantine’s brand is owned by Chivas Bros., subsidiary of Pernod Ricard. Ballantine’s 18 years old remained part of the range until the late 1990s.
Nose: herbal and pretty oaky, bunch of dried herbs, dark chocolate, caramel, honey, buttered toast, bitter orange marmalade, pepper and peat.
Palate: breakfast cereals, mixed herbs, green tea, pepper, dash of aniseed, vanilla, cocoa powder, crème brûlée and pretty strong oaky notes.
Finish: fairly long, with notes of grain, chocolate, vanilla, pepper, hints of nutmeg and oak.