Matured in a Bourbon Hogshead for 10 years and with an extended finish of 22 months in a Sauternes barrique, some of Scotland’s lighter makes would have been overwhelmed. However, Balmenach’s traditional, robust spirit more than holds its own amongst the bittersweet oak influences. Un-chill filtered, natural colour and only 302 bottles released.
Appearance: Lager amber, a beaded swirl line forms quickly, morphing into thick teardrops and legs. A pleasing film coats the glass.
Nose: Butterscotch, confectionery sugar, foam bananas and shrimps. Some berry sharp/sweetness intertwines with the sugar notes too. Some cherry and oak aromas appear, along with over-ripe orchard fruits, especially pears and plums.
A slight funk lingers in the background providing another layer to explore, almost a tangy cheese character.
Palate: A nice semi-viscous mouthfeel and the ABV is carried really well. There’s definitely a higher ethanol content but it’s not overwhelming, more complimentary. Black pepper, those over-ripe fruits, fig, vanilla wafer and a slight drying.
There are also sweeter, Christmas spices in the mix: cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.
A mellowness to the flavour profile. Similar to custard, but with black pepper sprinkled on top.
Finish: Long and lingering black pepper and sweet spices, custard too.
Overall: Another really pleasing and interesting whisky from these guys. I really enjoyed the mellowness and fruit elements.