Dram Review: Samaroli Balvenie Unblended Malt Scotch Whisky 1974

[56.0%・Distilled in 1974・Bottled in 1987・R.W. Duthie & Co Bottling for Samaroli・Limited Release of 408 Bottles]


Unmistakably Speyside and fairly Balvenie-esque in a splendidly clean manner, light honey and orange essence, a hint of pineapple sweetness followed through with a clean grassy note. The slightly sweet aromas remaining soft and in time expand with notes of yellow fruits and orange peels sipping from a gentle fragrant base.

Palate & Finish:

A mouthful of velvety vanilla arrives first, dressed subtly with the typical Balvenie spices as a clean grassy note impresses on the delivery. Later on the dram really opens up to some beautiful notes, white chocolate swirled with white peaches as vibrant spices splash onto vanilla sauce and lemon jello.

The follow through is slightly on the spicy side and carries into the finish, but the malt thereafter is rather wonderful.


Oftentimes an indie Balvenie (if you come across one in the wild) tends to carry those seemingly inherent traits of the distillery and this dram is certainly that, in this fundamentally clean way that is most attractive.

Perhaps it’s OBE but I find myself rather enchanted to these subtle nuances the Maestro had so ingeniously curated… there is just something more to the dram than just being a very good, very clean 1970s Balvenie.

To paraphrase Messr John Mayer, the Balvenie 1974 is sort of like a Tiffany dial Aquanaut, when you are dramming it you got to look closer… look closer… look closer still…

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]


Dram Review: The Balvenie Tun 1401 Batch No. 8

[50.2%・NAS・Official Bottling・Limited Release of 2,700 Bottles]


Sweet mahogany on the nose, the fragrant note is so smooth it simply skids through, followed closely by a gentle honeyed woodiness. Toasted spices adding to the depth with just a touch of cinnamon sprinkled upon a brush of vintage sherry inspired acidity.

Palate & Finish:

The sweetness is oh so intense the moment it touches the lips, ripe fruits simmering away in maple syrup, the gooey texture of the fructose is simply indulgent. There are also notes of candied ginger and liquor cured orange slices to make this a festive dram.

The raisin note is pulled back in the finish to reveal notes of vanilla and harvest barley. Satisfying without being excessive, a gentlemanly dram that circumscribed its desires.

☆ [Recommended]