Balmenach is one of those distilleries that does not appear on my radar very often. This is only my 11th encounter with this noble unknown from the Speyside. It’s one of these young malts that appeared in the Connoisseurs Choice series, a few years ago by now. In 2014 and 2017 I tasted a similar vatting from Gordon & Macphail, but was not very impressed. I confess that my expectations are in the same vein.
A light sour nose on apples, pears and gooseberries, white bread and even some cardboard and wood shavings as if I’m standing in a carpenter’s workshop. Stale ale. Dry. I’m afraid this nose does not rock my boat.
On the palate I can taste the influence of the sherry casks with sultanas and some honey, but at the same time it’s quite bitter on agrums, zest included. White pepper and some liquorice. Again fairly dry and even makes me reach for a glass of water. That’s never a good sign.
That drying effect continues in the medium long finish and the pepper also makes itself felt once more. Some gooseberries at the death.
Well, expectations were low and even those were not met. I’ve had much better Balmenach. This had better be blended away, I’m afraid. Thx for the sample, Benny!