The Balblair 1991
John MacDonald, distillery manager for Balblair Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky, releases whisky from casks for bottling only when the spirit reaches its optimal maturation. For this reason, Balblair—which has used the same water source near northern Scotland’s Dornoch Firth since the distillery originated in 1790—labels its whiskies by vintage rather than by age. The Balblair 1991 became one of Balblair’s first releases to arrive in the United States, and is one of two Balblair vintages currently available to the American market. Gold in hue, the 1991 is rich with citrus on the nose and accented by hints of cocoa and molasses. The former bourbon barrels in which it matured impart a delicate spiciness, as well as lingering traces of butterscotch, vanilla, and orange zest.