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Portuguese Influence

Portuguese Influence
March 30, 2016 Cask Staff Writer

Cristiano Ronaldo is, arguably, Madeira’s most famous export. Apart from the gifted footballer, the Portuguese region is also well known for producing fortified wines. Like its Sherry cousins from Spain, Madeira wines, or simply Madeira, has found its way into the whisky industry. Most recently, The Balvenie introduced the 21 Year Old Madeira Cask.

As its name would suggest, The Balvenie 21 Year Old Madeira Cask was finished in Madeira casks. In essence, distillate from The Balvenie distillery was matured in “traditional oak casks for more than two decades before being transferred for a limited period to casks that have been previously held the Portuguese fortified wine.”

The Balvenie didn’t reveal the exact period of the finish, or extra maturation, but we were told that it was in the range of months as the flavours can be too pronounced if left in the Madeira casks for too long. For this, Malt Master David Stewart does regular checks to ensure that the final product is “characterised with notes of vanilla, oak and honey finishing with a luscious layer of rich spice.”

This is a travel retail exclusive, so be sure to check it out while you are at the airport. The Balvenie 21 Year Old Madeira Cask retails at S$295.

Official Tasting Notes


Fragrant fruity and floral, orange blossom, fresh pineapple juice and a touch of spicy ginger finishing on some vanilla syrup.


A lovely mouth feel with a real juicy edge, exotic fruit salad and barley sugar with runny honey, cinnamon spices and gentle oak vanilla.


Lingering and luscious, sweet and malty alongside swathes of vanilla and a spicy layer.

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