Whisky Reviews

Ballantine’s 17 Year Old


Ballantine’s started out as a grocers in Edinburgh back in 1827, and began blending Scotch whisky in 1869. Since then it has grown to become one of the biggest Scotch brands in the world, and outsells any other brand in Europe.

The blend is made from over 50 assorted Scotch malts including Miltonduff and Glenburgie, so I probably don’t need to tell you that their Master Blender, Sandy Hyslop, has quite the nose on him! When it comes to blended Scotch whiskies, Ballantine’s is pretty hard to beat, and the 17 year old which I’m taking a look at today is no exception.

Generally served at room temperature, this is actually one of only very few whiskies that I enjoy with a small ice cube. It is, of course, a matter of taste. The whisky itself has got a nice, full body and almost creamy texture that helps bring out its sweet notes of vanilla. It’s as mellow as a cloudy summer day, and in combination with the vanilla it offers hints of orange zest, herbs, a tiny bit of smoke and a touch of leather, dark chocolate and fortified wine, with a somewhat dry finish.

Eye: Golden yellow.

Nose: Honey, herbs, mocha, vanilla and orange zest.

Taste: As above, with further undertones of dark chocolate, a little bit of smoke, leather and fortified wine.

If I were to choose only one blended whisky to have in my collection, it would be a tough choice between Ballantine’s and Whyte & Mackay. At the cheaper end of the scale ($80), I would probably go for a Whyte & Mackay – at a medium range ($160) the choice would be considerably tougher, but in the end I do think I would have to go for Ballantine’s. I dare not let my mind wander further up the price range than that, though.

Want to buy this whisky? Available in: USA & World (click)UK & Europe (click)

About Whisky Critic

My name is Martin and I live in Scotland. I love fine things in life, such as gourmet food, travelling around the world and, last but not least, whisky (naturally, I’m partial to a tipple of whiskey or bourbon as well). I have tasted hundreds of whiskies during the recent years and I finally decided to share my experience.

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