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All I Want For Christmas - Part 1 The Single Malt

Author: Matt Wooler - Saturday, November 07, 2015

It is coming into the Christmas season again and I have been asked countless times in the last couple of months the same complex question “If you could have one Whisky for Christmas what would it be?”. If I could have one whisky… I don’t have to think too hard about this answer but I do have to pose the return question “Do you mean a Blend or a Single Malt?”. Based on these question I thought to deliver my take on the ultimate whiskies to give as a  gift for Christmas.


Part 1 The Single Malt

If you asked “What is your ultimate Single Malt gift for Christmas?”, I would have to say The Balvenie 21 Years Old Port Wood. This whisky is the pinnacle delivery in the domestic market of perfect wood policy. It is consistent from batch to batch and it is instantly recognisable for its dark woody notes. Priced at A$210 to A$250 in the Australian market there is very few whiskies that are going to balance so well at that price for guaranteed quality.

The creation of this whisky by Malt Master David Stewart, is to take carefully selected Balvenie whiskies picked for their particular profiles, married together before transfer into choice port casks for additional ageing. The results are the amazing colour, refined nose and woody taste. Always keep in mind when enjoying a whisky like this that wood is as much a friend as a foe to whisky. The longer is ages the more chances of something going wrong. Wood rots and alcohol assaults.  Each barrel is a calculated risk but with delicate controlled wood policy collateral lose is always at a minimum.

So why don’t we explore some of the profile before we conclude?

The Balvenie 21 Years Old PortWood
Distiller: The Balvenie
Region: Speyside, Scotland
ABV: 40%
Wood: Traditional oak and ex-Port Casks 


The colour is fine like an orange sunset just as the sun begins to dip below the horizon. This whisky display a purity in its translucency. Viscosity is low leading to a very silky appearance looking through the glass.


The nose displays fruity characters drifting through an open barn door. There is a wood textures and a hay like nutty vibe. This whisky display reservation when nosing.


On tasting is where this whisky really displays its aged characters. A slight fruit citrus and open floral fields emerge typical of The Balvenie but again reserved for the textural nutty woody mouth feel of vanilla oaks soaked in wine.


The finish displays nutty woody spices opening to a long wood oak dryness that lingers on and on.

If you want to give something special to a family member, a friend, or yourself then consider this as your ultimate Christmas Single Malt. The receiver if this gift will not be disappointed. Age is not everything in a whisky but in the case of The Balvenie 21 Years Old PortWood it is everything and more.

Be sure to come back for part 2 of All I Want For Christmas as I let you in on what the my ultimate Blended Whisky gift should be and if you need more than whisky then we will be covering the Denver & Liely Whisky Glass in Part 3.

I have reserved a dram of this whisky for my Christmas eve dram. What are you having? 

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