Review: The Balvenie Tun 1401, Batch 3 Single Malt
This special release of Balvenie is exclusive to the U.S., a vatting of ten “treasures” from Balvenie’s Warehouse 24. There are no detailed notes on how old each of these casks is — the youngest is from 1989 and the oldest is from 1967 — but seven come from traditional whisky casks and three from sherry butts. A tun is a rather large vat that holds up to 2000 liters of liquid, used primarily as a “marrying” vessel. And that’s what we have here: Ten old distillates put together to create a whisky that can never be repeated.
Tasting Tun 1401 is a rare treat. This batch offers unusually strong dried fruit character, big and crisp apples, fresh berries, and a strong citrus finish. Behind all this fruit — well spiced with cinnamon notes — there is some chewy marshmallow, and just a hint of smokiness, both on the nose and in the finish. A moderate slug of oak finishes things off.
Tun 1401 is a whisky that evolves considerably as you drink it, which is a pity since I have so little of it to consume. Even at 100 proof, it goes do so smoothly and easily it’s almost criminal. Fruit notes melt into dessert — gingerbread and fruitcake — and then, like that, you’ve nothing left but crumbs.
A / $250 / thebalvenie.com