Ballantine’s is the world’s 14th best selling whisky (among all types of whiskies). Their most popular product is the cheap but decent Ballantine’s Finest. This is widely available in most parts of Japan at a dirt cheap price of about 1000 yen for a bottle (750ml).

Today’s article is about a different beast, however. I will focus on the Ballantine’s 17 years, something that is supposed to be a noticeable step up from the normal “Finest”. I procured mine for about 5000 yen.

Tasting Notes

Nose: The floral scent is much more prevalent than the Finest and the 12 years. You can tell that either the ageing has improved the fragrances or the blending is different

Palate: The sweetness is pronounced, with the floral flavors again standing out. The signature Ballantine’s taste is superb in this blend.

Finish: A quick finish with little burn. Sweetness lingers.


The 43% 17 year old reviewed by Jim Murray apparent received a gold rating from him. This is the 40% one. Nevertheless, for a bottle of 17 year old whisky priced at 5000 yen, I would gladly have this on my shelf. For what it’s worth, I finished half a bottle within a month despite having more than 10 other bottles opened. It’s good stuff.