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Type: Highland

Known for: bottling by vintage not age

And: making quite a splash despite only reopening in 2007


Balblair distillery, Edderton, Tain, Ross-shire, IV19 1LB, 01862 821273


Being just up the road from Glenmorangie Balblair could be forgiven for being somewhat in the shadow of its more established neighbour but although sales volumes between the two are chalk and cheese, Balbliar punches well above its weight with a seriously smooth range of sublime whiskies that have placed it firmly back on the whisky map in the few short years since it reopened.

The place itself lies in rolling countryside and is pleasingly quiet – when we dropped in it was hard to tell if the place was even open until we’d knocked on a few doors. The combination of the location and the classic distillery architecture is even due to be immortalised in film, being the location for the Ken Loach film, The Angel’s Share, due for release in 2012.

Touring the site with manager John Macdonald revealed wonderfully musty warehouses, some of the most deeply shiny stills we’ve ever seen, and a cracking line up of whiskies including one or two specials liberated from the Balblair safe. Quite a place, quite a whisky.

Buy Balblair Scotch whisky from:

Tasting notes:

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