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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Balvenie 14 Caribbean Cask: Whisk(e)y Wednedsay presented by Lock & Key

The Balvenie 14 Caribbean Cask
The Balvenie 14 Caribbean Cask
Whisk(e)y Wednesday gets back to scoring this week as we take a good long sip of The Balvenie 14 year Caribbean Cask single malt Scotch. This whisky is aged most of its life in used bourbon barrels but then finished at the end inside some Caribbean rum barrels. Brilliant.

The nose is soft and easy with hints of sweet honeysuckle, slight citrus, and minimal peat. Oak and raw sugar come forward with some vanilla as well. On the tongue you get a salty sensation and trickle of molasses. It tastes like a salt and sugar brine with a touch of lemon. There's a waft of smoke as well that didn't come through on the nose. The whisky finishes with a slight burn at the back of the mouth and then a smooth passage to the stomach. It then disappears like a pirate plundered any residuals. It goes too fast, really, and leaves you with nothing but a sensation of apple juice and a memory of what used to be.

The Scotch is remarkably balanced but not complex. It is mellow and delightful, packing one, albeit fantastic, note but perhaps leaving the seasoned Scotch drinker wanting a little bit more. Though, for those looking for a smooth, drinkable Scotch that isn't aggressively smoky or peaty, this is a great choice. At $17 a pour, The Balvenie 14 Caribbean Cask is not the best deal at Lock & Key, but it is isn't a bad value for the quality of the whisky. A score of 81.33 puts it into the Top 20 leader board for Whisk(e)y Wednesday. That's saying something, for sure.

The Balvenie 14 Caribbean Cask
Average Score: 81.33

Whisk(e)y Wednesday is a blog post series on Bite and Booze sponsored by the Lock & Key Whiskey Bar. Lock & Key has one of Baton Rouge's best selections of bourbon, Scotch, Irish, and other whisk(e)ys available for on premise consumption. This WW feature was scored by Jay Ducote from Bite and Booze, Arthur Lauck from Lock & Key, and Eric Ducote from BR Beer Scene. Using our own proprietary scoring system, whiskeys are marked for Nose, Taste, Finish, Balance and Complexity, and "Bang for the Buck" which should encompass the whiskey's overall value. Marks are then added and averaged, leaving us with a final score out of a 100 point scale. Our scale should be looked at on the full range of 0-100 rather than an academic range where 70 is passing and anything less is failing. A 50 should be considered a very mediocre whisk(e)y (though not undrinkable, you'd let somebody buy you one) while anything below 20 is absolute horse piss, anything above 80 is rather extraordinary, and anything above 90 is world class.