Hey, Balmenach. That distillery comes along once a year or so. It’s part of the well-known Inver House group but quite low-profile when it comes to single malt production. I sometimes have the impression they’re marketing it more for the gin they’re making. This release is a 1979 cask selected by Maltbarn.
Balmenach 32 yo 1979 (53,1%, Maltbarn 2012, bourbon barrel, 209 btl.)
Nose: fairly spicy and herbal right from the beginning. Heather, parsley, green tea, fresh moss… mixed with slightly muted but still juicy fruits. White peaches, grapefruit, lemon. Lots of dried flowers and hay. Also a buttery / pastry note, but a shy one. Very elegant.
Mouth: very sweet and creamy. Vanilla, banana, orange jelly sweets and dried apricots. Interesting coconut notes. Honey. Some hay and heather again, then some spices (ginger, pepper) and marzipan. Fades on tea and liquorice.
Finish: long, first rounded, then more on spices with a nice dryness and soft oak in the very end.
A classic old Speyside profile, with a fruity / malty core and quite a lot of oak spices. Maybe not a wham-bam convincing winner but there’s a lot going on so give it some time. A great catch for Maltbarn. Around € 170.