Monday, January 20, 2014

Exam-o-Dram Balvenie Tun 1401 Batch 3

I'm not one to pay a lot of money for any whisk(e)y but there are times when I break that rule.  Balvenie released their Tun 1401 back in 2010 as a distillery only offering.  Batches 3, 6 and the most recent 9 were U.S. releases only. 

Tun 1401 is a blend of hand selected barrels that span decades by David Stewart, Balvenie's Master Blender.  When batch 3 first showed up in 2011, I passed on it as the price point was north of $230.  I didn't regret that decision until 2013 when a friend of mine shared a sample from Batch 3.  I was smitten to say the least.  A phone call one day by the same friend said he was in MD and found a couple bottles on the shelf of a liquor store for $285.  My answer was yes....please get me a bottle.

Color is a rich gold and the viscosity produces nicely spaced legs down the side of the glass.  Nosing this whisky exhibits a rich fruit profile with a subtle sherry notes as well. 

The entry is classy, sophisticated and captivating.....and I hate using these goofy descriptors but I'm not sure how else to describe a nearly perfect Scotch.  Balvenie produces solid whiskies but Tun 1401 is multiple steps above anything else they release.  As the whisky hits the palate I taste summer fruits, stone fruits and mild mature oak with a touch of spice all with perfect balance.  This whisky is smooth and creamy, has fantastic mouthfeel with a long warming finish. Bravo David Stewart.

I wish I could afford to bunker multiples of each batch but I'm happy to have this one. 


  1. Just discovered your site. Have been browsing some of older posts also..nice to read such a variety of tastes and samplings! Finding some of bottles is definitely challenging...sounds as if you have better chance of getting scarce offerings there than I can find here in Kentucky..I enjoy posts. I personally think one of the best bargains out there now is the willett 4yr rye..not up to the 25 yr but a very good buyo

    1. I add some of these selections to the bunker through a network of friends who are willing to pick up a bottle on my behalf. If I relied on VA ABC, I'd be SOL.

  2. Through hunting and swapping with friends, I've managed to pick up a Batch 6, and two Batch 9. The bunker deepens.

  3. Since 2014 added Batch 5 another Batch 3 and 9. Now have a decent bunker of these gems.