The Tasting

2014 Charity Dinner


Julie Ross from Balblair was kind, enthusiastic and energetic enough to make the 370 mile round trip from Edderton on the Dornoch Firth to our 2014 Dinner to start the evening with a first class whisky tasting.

In August of that year 10 SAFG members made the trip to Balblair and it is without doubt a visit worth making. This is due to the picturesque location, the friendliness of the people, the warm welcome and the quality of the drams. But to top it off we had a first class guide in Julie who made the visit memorable through her excellent commentary and hosting. We were delighted she was able to bring the Balblair brand, herself and her husband John, to our Dinner.

Balblair do not have the typical age range that many other distilleries offer with bottles having a consistent, traditional age statement. Instead Balblair has ‘vintages timed to perfection’ and bottle when the whisky is ready irrespective of the age, and brand their vintages by the year of their distillation. Julie introduced, and our members enjoyed, the 2003, 1999 and 1990 vintages.

Each of these drams have been in American oak, ex-bourbon casks, have a sweet spicy character and were smooth and pleasant. Whilst easy to drink lots of flavours were to be found.

The 2003 was a very popular start to the evening and the flavours of citrus, fruit and honey were notable to many of the company. We then moved to the 1999 vintage which had been further matured in Spanish oak, ex-sherry butts. The change of flavours to vanilla, sherry and pudding was evident and enjoyable. Finishing with the 1990, also further matured in Spanish oak, ex-sherry casks set us up for our forthcoming meal with a fuller bodied and sweeter, fruitier tastes.

All three drams were popular and enjoyable and allowed all our members to have their personal favourite across the vintages which suited their own taste and preferences.

Individually these drams were great; together they were a fantastic start to our evening. With Julie’s expert knowledge, generosity and friendliness our 2014 Dinner got off to a wonderful start.

Many of our members had tasted various Balblair’s before but many were tasting whisky from this distillery for the first time and may be changing their Christmas list to Santa so that it includes a bottle of Balblair.

The Meal


Mr Mark Hunter



Mr Kenny Clark & Mr Jack Westwood


Vote of Thanks

Mr Andrew McDowall