The TUN 1401 series were a legendary Balvenie line of bottlings that spanned 9 batches. The only batches that were sold in the US were batches 3, 6, and 9 with 9 being the last batch produced in the TUN 1401 series. After shuttering the series, Balvenie built a larger TUN and debuted TUN 1509 which is now on its second batch. The tun is essentially a giant vat where Balvenie can combine many different barrels. The label includes the cask numbers of the various casks that went into this particular vatting.
Nose: Clean and crisp sherry notes but not overly sweet. Dark chocolate with rich malt, blood oranges, and dried fruits. Slightly nutty overall and a bit of pumpkin spice if you dig enough.
Palate: Malt is surprisingly strong up front given the heavy sherry influence. Mouthfeel is thick and velvety. Pepper, brine, and honey round out the palate.
Finish: Finish is sweeping and long lasting with the grain really shining. Finish is almost more intense than the palate. Nutty notes remain with a bit of tobacco surfacing – one of the longest finishes of any malt I’ve had.
Rating: 94/100 – one of my very favorite drams and my favorite of the US releases of the TUN 1401 bottlings. Most people tend to prefer batch 3, but I’m in the minority that finds 9 to be the best of the three.
Value for the money: These have become very spendy due to their reputation and the series being discontinued. These will likely run you $500+ at the moment, and I can’t say they’re worth that, but if you have a chance to try this at a bar, I’d highly recommend spending the money there to be able to try it.