In 2021 Belgian importer The Nectar celebrated its foundation 15 years ago. All bottlings contained a special The Nectar 15 Years mention that year. One of them was this Balmenach 1989, a 32 year old release. This distillery doesn’t cross my path often, so I’m always curious to try their whisky.
Balmenach 32 yo 1989 (44,6%, The Nectar ’15 Years’ 2021)
Nose: a very rounded nose, that starts on puréed banana and ripe yellow apple, with hints of pear, vanilla ice cream and warm waxy notes. Some wildflowers in the background. Light honey. Overall it’s a warm, very round nose with tightly integrated aromas. The downside of this is limited complexity.
Mouth: same smoothness and integration, with an oily texture. A lot of waxy flavours, hints of pollen, bready notes and white nectarines. Plenty of apples, even a drop of calvados. Also oranges and honey. Some leafy notes and cinnamon but very little wood bite, even after all these years. Lacks a bit of punch perhaps, but on the other hand the smoothness also suits this style.
Finish: medium, with waxy notes, stewed apple and subtle pepper.
Really elegant Speyside whisky with a nice old-school feel to it. Highly drinkable (read: a little soft) and slightly low in complexity. I understand this is a rare find, hence the high price. A few bottles are still out there, check The Whisky Exchange for instance.