gavin smith




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Drinkers are used to the attractions of 'seasonal' beers, but seasonal whiskies are altogether rarer beasts. So it is pleasing to see that Ballantine's - the world's second-best-selling blended Scotch - has recently added its first seasonal limited edition to the regular line up.
Ballantine's, Christmas Reserve (Scotland)
Ballantine’s Christmas Reserve has been created by master blender Sandy Hyslop and carries no age statement, being presented in a dark bottle, cased in an eye-catching white card box, with embossed snowflakes and gold foil. According to Ballantine’s international brand director Peter Moore, “Predictably there’s always a strong focus on gifting at this time of the year, so it was important for us to respond with a unique expression which would appeal to new customers as well as existing customers who are keen to trade up. Although a first for Ballantine’s, the Christmas Reserve perfectly represents the flair and substance that underpins the brand.” The nose is Sherried and rich, with figs, raisins, sultanas and, finally, freshly-squeezed orange juice. More fruits on the palate, oranges, apples and pears, with a nutty, gingery, slightly oaky backdrop. Medium to long in the finish, with developing dark chocolate éclairs. In specialist retailers across Europe and in Taiwan. 40.0% ABV, 70cl, £30-£35, specialist retailers across selected countries in mainland Europe, the Middle and Far East, Morocco and Colombia, plus Asian and Central American travel retail outlets.

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