Ultimate Beverage Challenge 93 points - Ultimate Beverage Challenge.March/2011
Whisky Advocate 90 points - A special Balvenie to honor Master Distiller David Stewart’s 30 years working at the distillery. This is a big and brooding dram. The aroma suggests it is aged in both bourbon and sherry oak. It’s complex and richly flavored (sweeter up front and increasingly dry towards its finish), with notes of honey, candied fruit, thick cut marmalade, vanilla, almonds, and prominent spicy oak notes. I’m picking up plenty of sherry in this new expression, which I like. It finishes firmly dry, with notes of spice and tannin. While I enjoy this whisky a great deal, you might want to seek out the Balvenie 25 year old (which I rated a 93) while the odd bottle is still available. It is slightly more rounded on the palate, and less than half the cost. (Summer 2005) Reviewed by: John Hansell.August/2005
The Balvenie Thirty is a rare and especially fine single malt for which David Stewart selects only exceptional casks that were laid down over thirty years ago. By marrying The Balvenie slowly aged in traditional oak whisky casks with that aged in European oak sherry casks, David creates a rich, mellow Scotch whisky with unusual depth and complexity. ‘Thirty’ is bottled at 47.3% abv to capture all the signature characteristics of The Balvenie.