Rosemary's Blog

Whiskies for Autumn - The Balvenie Caribbean Cask 14yo single malt Speyside

Autumn - pumpkins and spice - The Balvenie Caribbean Cask leapt into my gastro consciousness on first tasting, begging to be part of my whisky selection for this sometimes mellow yet oft-times stormy season of the year. The Caribbean Cask was a huge hit with Chichester’s Whisky Women when we tasted my Autumn Collection ‘15 as it is rich, warming and very easy, yet opens out to present a surprisingly different whisky experience when held briefly in the mouth.

Watch my review below.

The gravitas on the palette is not immediately obvious on the nose, the aromas being soft, slightly tofee-ish and definitely on the sweeter side of wiskydom, but there are hints of spice and fruitiness there too. Once in the glass and warmed in the hand for a minute or two the first sip reveals tropical fruits and spice: cinnamon, nutmeg and mace to me, and is the heat pepper or allspice, also known as Jamaican pepper? I fancy it is the latter and oh my goodness, how well this rum finish works! To get the full genius of the rum casking I think this is a whisky to drink neat: with even a drop or two of water I find that it becomes more balanced and easier but perhaps looses the very notes that make it such an individual whisky at a moderate and affordable price (about £46 for 70cl). 

This whisky would go with almost any of my autumn dishes but is especially good with pumpkins and squash in sweet and savoury recipes. With my Smokey bacon and pumpkin soup, my delicious and slightly gingery Squash paté (on hot buttered toast or stirred through freshly cooked pasta), or even in and with my Pumpkin, rum (cask) and raisin ice cream, The Balvenie Caribbean Cask deserves its selection to my Autumn Collection for 2015.

(The price quoted is based on The Whisky Exchange.)