Bought – Whisky Galore, 25th November 2013
78/100 – Whisky Bible 2014
83/100 – Whiskybase (average from 6 member votes)
I bought this bottling by Gordon & MacPhail before it appeared in the 2014 issue of the Whisky Bible where its score is somewhat unflattering. The author, Jim Murray, has only this to say in his review “attractive mix of cereal and sultana notes on nose and delivery. But falls to the near inevitable consequence of the modern sherry butt at the very last.” 78/100 classifies this single malt as “average and usually pleasant but sometimes flawed.” It shares the same score as the Highland Park 12-year-old in the Whisky Bible, to give you a point of reference.
Distilled in 2004 and bottled in 2012, this Balmenach is 8 years old at best, or possibly 7 depending on the exact dates of distillation and bottling. This will have an influence on the depth of flavour and length of finish. 83/100 on Whiskybase is an excellent score and experienced reviewer Mark Dermul leaves us these notes and comment:
Nose: The nose is fairly sweet, but with a weird edge that reminds me of silver polish or old iron in the rain. A tad dusty. Yellow fruit, mostly citrus, but also pineapple. Mildly spicy. Think ginger, liquorice and loads of vanilla. Nice, but far from great.
Taste: Oily arrival and immediately very sweet on the palate. A bit more spicy than on the nose and now it is all about pineapple, both fresh and dried. Then the citrus fruit kicks in, leaning towards lime. Very accessible.
Finish: The finish is spicy with a little pepper, but unfortunately does not last very long.
Comments: Card player’s whisky, nothing more, nothing less. Nice nose, though.