With Christmas only a few weeks away, we thought it only fitting that we sit down to taste the new, limited edition Ballantine’s Christmas Reserve. Developed by Ballantine’s Master Blender, Sandy Hyslop. This limited edition aims to capture all your favourite festive flavours and aromas and evoke all those wonderful memories and feelings that we remember and experience at this special time of year.
Speaking of his goal for the limited edition, Hyslop said: “When I set about creating this special Christmas blend, my aim was to reflect Ballantine’s brand values of ‘staying true’ to who you are and so, I carefully considered what Christmas meant to me; the sensory experiences from my life that had left the biggest impressions.
To understand what Ballantine’s are aiming for with the Christmas Reserve try closing your eyes and imagining the flavours and aromas that you associate with Christmas. For us, we imagine sweet rich flavours; chocolate, toffee, nuts, orange zest, fruity Christmas cake, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
But the question is; has Ballantine’s managed to bottle all these flavours? Let’s find out.
Nose: Rich and fruity, immediately I think of sherry-soaked fruits, Christmas cake and Christmas pudding, which gives way to a sweet toffee aroma.
Palate: Sweet and zesty; smooth indulgent caramel, orange and a hint of festive spice.
Finish: Long full and wonderfully sweet,
With its deep amber complexion, a result of the sherry casks used, and its beautifully presented white snowflake box, the Ballantine’s Christmas Reserve is a fantastic Christmas dram; that more than achieves what master blender Sandy Hyslop set out to achieve. However, don’t be fooled into thinking that this is in any way a novelty Christmas dram, this is still a Ballantine’s whisky; a sophisticated and well balanced whisky that can be enjoyed by an open fire throughout the autumn, winter and spring.