Fast Review: Ballantine’s Finest Blended Scotch

A picture of Ballantine's finest from the Ballantine's website

photo credit: Ballantine’s Website

Here is a review of one of the standard blended scotches available – Ballantine’s Blended Scotch. Blended scotches are certainly cheaper than single malts, and generally offer more consistency. Perhaps they are more ignored because they don’t change as much – what they offer is a standard, consistent product that one can rely on. Single malts are all the range, I think, partly because they are different – you can luck out and get a fantastic bottling, or luck out and spend big bucks on a dreadful bottling. The brands generally offer different things, in effect creating their own niches of products with dedicated followers.

Ballantine’s is currently the number 2 selling blended scotch in the world (behind Johnnie Walker), though its sales have been in slight decline of late. Ballantine’s finest is their base offering, and comes in at quite a reasonable price.

Nose:  Dried fruit with peat in the background, a bit of gold tequila, not overly pleasant in my opinion. Candied cherries, juniper; grape milk chocolate. 22/30 (73%)

Taste: sweet entry without a big body followed by a peat mixed with fruit – red apple and raisins perhaps. Quite sweet. Milk chocolate as well.22/30 (73%)

Finish: not a particularly bold finish. The sweet fruitiness fades to gentle peat and herbal flavours. Slight peat lingers in the mouth. The aftertaste is a bit fragile and fades relatively quickly.16/20 (80%)

Conclusion: not super, but ok. If there were a scotch candy, I imagine this would taste like that. The first time I drank this I didn’t like it; it became palateable as I drank more but it isn’t for me. I just found the flavour profile not to be something that I particularly enjoyed. It is described as “soft, sweet, and complex” by the company – that is true. It’s a mix of many flavours, and in a sense is therefore complex, but they don’t seem to mesh together all that well. 14/20 (70%)

Overall Score: 74/20

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