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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

March 26, 2014


Tasting three Balmenach

I haven’t got much to say about Balmenach, except that they can be quite orchardy and even display some zesty tropical fruits. Let’s see…

Balmenach 24 yo 1988/2013 (54.4%, Signatory, hogshead, cask #2794, 238 bottles)

Balmenach 24 yo 1988/2013 (54.4%, Signatory, hogshead, cask #2794, 238 bottles) Four stars Colour: straw. Nose: it’s a punchy, rather grassy and pretty austere malt when unreduced, with notes of broken branches, mown lawn, leaves and even vegetables such as French beans or peas. A little vanilla and honey in the background, but all that’s quite shy. Also fresh walnuts. With water: the grass comes out even more. Apple peelings, walnut skin… Mouth (neat): huge contrast, although the notes of branches and grasses are back as well. Otherwise there are bags of apples and grapefruits. It’s not a very complex one, but it’s got good zing and mouth feel. With water: it was worth the wait, this time we’re finding much more fruits, apples, oranges, citrons, gooseberries… It remains a grassy whisky but it’s become less sharpish. Finish: quite long, mostly grassy and lemony. Nice zing. Comments: another one that needs water, and then it delivers. SGP:561 (with water) - 85 points.

Balmenach 25 yo 1988/2013 (55.6%, Signatory for The Whisky Exchange, cask #1132, 187 bottles)

Balmenach 25 yo 1988/2013 (55.6%, Signatory for The Whisky Exchange, cask #1132, 187 bottles) Four stars Colour: gold. Nose: more or less the same profile on the nose, it’s just that the casks was probably more active – which is what the colour already suggested. So a little more vanilla on top of all these grasses, vegetables and herbs, as well as whiffs of butterscotch, mashed potatoes and turnips. With water: a little wet cardboard, more grass, more porridge, more apple peelings, even a little wood smoke. Mouth (neat): exactly the same differences again, this has more wood sweetness, apple compote and pie, vanilla, then apple peelings and plantain. It’s becoming quite spicy as well, with pepper and cinnamon. With water: once again, water works very well. Very zesty citrusy profile, tangerines, grapefruits, green apples… And drops of honey. Finish: good length, zesty and spicier. White pepper. Comments: water unleashes the fruits once again. A great Balmenach. SGP:551 - 87 points.

Balmenach 35 yo 1979/2014 (53.4%, Sansibar, 127 bottles)

Balmenach 35 yo 1979/2014 (53.4%, Sansibar, 127 bottles) Four stars and a halfColour: pale gold. Nose: a similar style again despite an older age, this is incredibly fresh at 35 years of age. The cask was probably quite lazy, which isn’t obligatorily a bad thing as we all know. A lot of grass again, this time with more apples and porridge. And leaves, moss, a little mud… With water: a funny salinity’s coming out. Sardines? Actually, that’s not that unusual in malt whisky. Mouth (neat): much, much close to the TWE, just a little more ‘infused’. That translates into more spices, such as nutmeg and cinnamon again. It’s even a little biting at 35 years of age. With water: excellent. Sure the tannicity got bigger but I also find more tropical fruits. Especially, once again, bags of grapefruits. Finish: quite long, with a little more pepper on top of the grapefruits. Comments: lazy casks need time, but then they can become quite superb. SGP:651 - 88 points.

More tasting notes Check the index of all Balmenach I've tasted so far







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