This Balvenie Roasted Malt is made from malt that has been germinating for only 1 day (instead of 5) and dried a bit heavier than usual (at 200°C). Roasting is measured in EBC (European Brewing Colour) units, and this malt reached up to 1800 EBC whereas normal malt reaches 30 EBC. Roasted malt is commonly used for the production of stout beer but not for whisky.
This is a limited edition, made from a batch of 43 casks, but it’s still available.
Balvenie 14y ‘Roasted Malt’
(47,1%, OB 2006)
Nose: Surprisingly dusty, like wet cardboard or even some church with some lingering incense. Hints of smoke and toasted bread. A bit prickly and spirity as well. After a while, hints of apple. Uncommon for a Balvenie, although there are more common notes of honey and vanilla as well, but more on a second level.
Mouth: ah, much more typically Balvenie: marmalade, vanilla sweetness, crême brulée. Lots of oak influence. Slightly peppered. A bit harsh though.
Finish: rather dry and nutty. A tad bitter. Subtle hints of coffee.
I’m afraid this is one of the lesser Balvenies I’ve had. Not bad, but I prefer the usual, gentle profile. Around € 70.