Review: The Balvenie 17 Year RumCask

For a good part of the aughts, The Balvenie released an annual 17 year old limited edition expression. In 2008, that expression was The Balvenie 17 Year RumCask. This whisky matured in ex-bourbon casks for 17 years before being transferred to barrels that previously held rum from Jamaica for a short finishing period.

The predecessor to this release was SherryOak, matured exclusively in ex-sherry casks. While that expression was one of the most unique of the 17 year special editions, this whisky is way closer to the classic Balvenie flavor profile one might expect. At the time of this release, a rum cask Balvenie was a pretty novel concept. This was a few years before Caribbean Cask was added to the standard range so it was certainly unique when it was released.

This whisky was distilled in 1991 and bottled in 2008 at 43% ABV.

The Balvenie 17 Year RumCask - 43% ABV
Category Notes
Appearance Light gold
Nose Orange blossom, gum drops, vanilla bean, coffee cake, green grapes, nutmeg.
Taste Key lime, honey, orange peel, heather, caramel, almond, mixed dried fruit, oak, touch of coconut.
Finish Gradual arrival, big honey sweetness, creme brûlée, nice oak, cinnamon, a slight whisp of smoke.
Overall Thoughts This is a really well structured malt. Sweetness sits atop a layer of citrus which, in turn, is supported on a foundation of oak and spice. This is better than the 14 Year Caribbean Cask but not quite as nice as Goldencask.
Total Score 89/100