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Balvenie Pure Malt Whisky Over 8 Year Old 1970s




Whisky Review: Balvenie Pure Malt Whisky Over 8 Year Old 1970s

Tasting Notes:

One of the earliest examples of a Balvenie single malt scotch whisky, this bottle bears the text “pure malt”. This is a now-banned term that was most commonly used to refer to single malt, though not always. The whisky was bottled at 70 UK proof, translating to about 40% ABV.
Classic scotchy scotch. Granny Smith apples blend with sweet and sour notes. Robust and hearty but easy to digest.
Thin mouthfeel but this is probably due to the low strength. Predominantly fresh apples moving through to spice in the back end. It definitely feels more robust as it goes on.
Again with apples and spice that leaves a warm and slightly lingering finish
Pretty pleasant but nothing to write home about. It is classic and simple but it doesn’t make me yearn for a life in the 70s when this whisky was more readily available. However, I can appreciate the ability to try this whisky snapshot of Balvenie as it was 50 years ago.
The Balvenie Pure Malt Over 8 Years Old.

This is a fascinating bottle of Balvenie. Not only does it have an unusual shape (courtesy of William Grant & Sons) and an understated label that bears no resemblance to the Balvenie of today, it also bears the text “pure malt”.

The term “pure malt” has been the subject of intense debate in the scotch whisky industry for many years. Most commonly, it was used to refer to single malt whisky. That is, 100% malted barley whisky from one single distillery. However, the term was not legally defined.

As such, when the Cardhu Pure Malt – a bottling comprised of whiskies from various distilleries – hit the market under Diageo, it caused confusion. Eventually, the term “pure malt” was banned in 2009, and the definitions of whisky classifications were tightened so as to avoid confusion and ensure quality standards.

This Balvenie Pure Malt Over 8 Years Old is, in fact, from a single distillery. It was one of the earliest examples of a single malt from the distillery which, by 1971, was operating 8 stills.

Today, Balvenie is something of a Speyside institution, known for experimental cask finishes and fantastically rare bottlings such as the Balvenie 1937 50 Year Old.

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Vin PF

Vin PF is one of our UK based reviewers. You may know him as the face of the No Nonsense Whisky whisky channel.

His channel focuses on whisky reviews and livestreams, providing honest and straightforward content that cuts through the chaff. With Vin’s reviews you can expect short, easy-to-digest content that get straight to the point.

He prides himself on being approachable and relaxed, without any pretentiousness.

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