Review: Balvenie Port Wood 21 Single Malt Scotch Whisky

let’s begin

Balvenie Distillery is located in Speyside, the most heavily concentrated region in terms of distilleries in Scotland.

Within that region, it is situated in Dufftown, the most heavily concentrated region in terms of distilleries in Speyside.

So we’re off to a good start then.

Surrounded by luscious green forests and rolling hills, Balvenie is truly in a place of beauty. And what better place to create some of the smoothest whisky available.

A perfect example of the excellence that comes out of Balvenie Distillery is the Balvenie Port Wood 21 Year Old.

Matured in the finest of fine Port casks, or “pipes” if you want to be pedantic, this expression is elegant and well balanced.

It is regularly tasted by the Balvenie Master Distiller to ensure that the perfect amount of character is soaked up from the pipes.

The age is key to the Balvenie Port Wood. It allows for all the intricacies of the wood and Port to be embraced by the Whisky and over this length of time the liquid becomes incredibly smooth.


If the Balvenie Port Wood 21 Year Old were a person it would definitely be charmer, only it would be a charmer that succeeds in getting your number, rather than the creepy kind.

The nose begins with the classic characteristics of the Speyside malt. It is rich a fruity, almost as if someone poured a fruit bowl into the cask.

Bursts of peach and juicy apples explode in the nose, piquing the interests of the taste buds and complement by a nice nutty undertone.

Better not wait too long between smelling and tasting, or your tongue may just revolt against you in anticipation.

The palate is packed with flavour. It is exactly like symphony in your mouth, one written by Mozart just for you.

The smoothness really becomes obvious, with the flavours intertwining perfectly.

It is creamy and delicate with all the characteristics one would expect, but done amazingly well.

The fruits of the nose are carried onto the palate and really stand out. The ripe red apples mix with dried raisins for a burst of sweetness.

The fruitiness then embraces a wall of nutty sophistication. Hazelnuts rise to the fore and take the lead with warm nods towards honey.

The honey carries some floral notes with it. These flavours form in subtle hints along the way and add to the delicate lightness of this dram.

Finally, to the finish. Again this is light and delicate, but it lingers for a good amount of time.

The nuttiness really comes through in the finish and is there to be appreciated. There is also a certain sweetness. This takes a more distinctly saccharine flavour than the fruitiness of before but works exceptionally well with the intensity of the plalate.

The Balvenie Port Wood 21 Year Old is a masterful piece of art. If it were to be hung in a gallery t would the National Gallery and it would be the most popular exhibit.

This is one of the best investments you can make to your Whisky Cabinet, and to be honest, you owe it to yourself to get it.

Tags: 21 Year OldBalvenieBalvenie Port Wood 21 Year OldDrinkWirePort WoodWhisky


My name is Greg, and I’m a brand strategy consultant, writer, speaker, host and judge specialising in premium spirits. My mission is to experience, share and inspire with everything great about whisky, whiskey, gin, beer and fine dining through my writing, my brand building and my whisky tastings.

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