The Balvenie PortWood 21 Year Old Single Malt Scotch
- SP Wine Spectator
- WE Wine Enthusiast
- OT Other Review Service
- RP Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate
- ST Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar
- Gold Premier Gold - Best Value*
- Plat Premier Platinum - Our Highest Recommendation
- * as rated by our staff
93 pts. Beverage Testing Institute: January 27, 1999
Bright golden-yellow hue with a reddish tint. Aromas of violets and rich fruit. Marked by Port-wine fruitiness, dried apricot, and elegant wood spice. Very flavorful, yet delicate and persistent.
92 pts. Wine Enthusiast: September, 2000
Deep amber in color. Port is very evident in the nose, bringing a sweetness that’s intensified with honey but balanced with notes of leather, heather and moss. The big body brings a palate with notes of tobacco and a very healthy shot of black pepper that darts hither and thither on the tongue. Here the Port really takes a backseat — it’s there in the backdrop, but barely detectable. The finish is long and warm. This is a very sturdy whiskey with lots of bite and gusto. Adding a healthy dram of spring water (try a 50/50 mix) heightens the Port-like character on the palate.
85–89 pts. Wine Enthusiast: February, 2004
Shows more than a little Port-like qualities especially in the taste. Nicely married flavors.
F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal: September 1, 2009
Last evaluated in 1997 when I gave it three stars. Highly attractive copper/burnished orange color; nearly flawless purity. Shows the Balvenie aromatic thumbprint of barley/light peat but goes further with lovely traces of oak resin, salted butter, and salted almond; further aeration stimulates supplemental notes of wax, black raisin, and parchment. Entry is sleek, nuanced in its portiness, and gently not overtly sweet; midpalate is fuller than the entry and more generous in flavor, offering oak-driven vanillin and traces of ruby port, lead pencil, bark, and dried nectarine. Concludes fruity, dry, and medium-rich. I agree with my initial evaluation.
F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal: September 1, 1997
Bright amber/harvest gold color; a few suspended particles noted — it’s surprisingly golden for such an old malt; the nose speaks more of grain mash than of port in the first pass, then with time and a bit of swirling a trace of wine grape appears in a deliciously ripe forefront aroma — the final two nosings gradually expand from the grain and grapes into old oak; oil, and almond — it ends up on a mature, sure-footed aromatic note; in the mouth, the opening taste salvo has elements of rancio (as in fine old cognac), tobacco ash, pepper and woodiness — the midpalate is a highly complex network of complementary flavors, such as smoke, oak, malt, adn the astringency of oak tannin; the smokiness/sootiness continues into the finish which is long, dry, and oaky…
Santé: February, 2001
Honey, caramel and wild flower aromas. Walnut, ginger and plum flavors, with elegant notes of walnuts; powerful finish, with spice and dark fruit flavors.
This Speyside scotch was aged 21 years in American oak casks then transferred to 30 year old port pipes to add to the depth of the whiskey. The result is a scotch smooth enough to be enjoyed by a novice yet complex enough to earn the admiration of even the most discerning expert. Moderately sweet with heather-honey and peat flavors and a mellow oak finish, this is truly a malt that could be enjoyed after dinner with a fine cigar.
Member Store Reviews
Amber color. A welcomed addition to the Belvenie line. It expresses the distillery’s signature richness and honey notes. The extra aging provides depth and dryness which dovetails nicely with port notes, turning nutty and dry on the finish. Very sophisticated.