Whisky Review: Burnside 1989 Aged 28 Years “Water of Life” 下野黒髪きりふりの滝

Style: Fruity and Malty

Incredibly beautiful aroma in the form of honeycomb rises out from the glass. Manuka honey drizzle, malt juice at the purest form. Barley swimming through yuzu lemon jam, lemon tea carrying the faintest note of limestone and lavender overtone. Spearmint edge, just a pinch of peppercorns and five spices at the back. Glorious.

Sweet malt continues to paddle through comfortably, maple syrup and lemon honey. Vanilla cream wrapping gently around barley husks. Delicate wood smoke, my lord, is this even slightly peated? Yuzu continues to be the centerpiece, zesty sweetness resonates, while citrus oil is giving a slight acidity and bitterness to the palate. Switching to the drier facet, mineral notes, wood planks and perhaps some white pepper sprinkles to finish.

We are on the softer side now, malt biscuits and citrus peels with a small dose of sweet honey lemon tea.

In case you are wondering, Burnside is the code name for Balvenie. Perhaps I was born a bit late and didn’t have the chance to try all the vintage Balvenies. For me, this is probably the best one I have tried to date. The amalgamation and synchronization between the spirit and cask has reached the point of perfection – The sweet honey yuzu, the dazzling malt, the velvety texture, the lovely side notes all put together a wonderful and tantalizing performance. Maybe I would love a little more power but this is absolutely a spell-binding dram.

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

[47.6% | Independent Bottling | 1989 Distilled | 2018 Bottled | Single Cask | Cask Strength | Cask Number: 4557 | 33 of 120 Bottles | Non Chill Filtered | Hogsheads | Selected by Carsten Ehrlich & Hideo Yamaoka | **+]