The Balvenie distillery in Dufftown was built in 1892 by W. & J. Grant, owners of the Glenfiddich distillery nearby. More than a century later they are still ‘sister stills’, owned by the very same company that originally built them. When the distillery was built in 1892 it was outfitted with second-hand still from Lagavulin and Glen Albyn. This might seem a bit odd at first, but the use of second hand stills is actually not that uncommon. These days Balvenie has no less than eight stills.
The bouquet shows over ripe bananas, runny honey, heather, malted milk biscuits and a hint of toasted pine nuts and basil. Vanilla and apricot are found, too with some pear drops. Very fruity and light. The apricots really spring through at the front of the palate with some fantastic red and green apples, the pear drops again, then rich runny honey and all underpinned with a fantastic oily nature. Very delicious. The finish is fairly short, with some spices (cinnamon baked apple) and a big hit of vanilla.