BTC2014–Day #10–The Balmenach fiasco

Day #10 is upon us, and after 20 points scored yesterday for the region (Blair Athol), arrived this dram which was an enigma. Sniffing revealed quite a salty nose and palate, and that was indeed a hint to look for maritime distilleries. One option I considered was Highland Park, which I quickly dismissed as I’ve not gotten even a hint of sherry in this dram, let alone any HP kind of peat or the heathery notes one associates with HP. I considered maybe a Campbell town as this region has not made an appearance in recent days, but also that did not fit, not at all. I was left with either a speyside (which seemed unlikely, but a safe bet) Islands or Islay. I decided to go for a long shot, and tried to think of this dram as an old Bunna, no peat, but salt.. Well, that was a bad decision as it seems, but since no one really guessed this dram, it must really have been a hard nut to crack. 0 points for me, yippppie!

Balmenach 8 yo, 2003, SMWS, 62.7% “Let the summer arrive!”SMWS 48.35

Nose: This is a rather salty coastal sort of nose, with some vanilla and damp wood, in addition to coconut and citrus, but really that felt older than 8 years!

Palate: Palate seems high in abv, but I did not detect that amount of ETOH. I went for 55%, which was more than I felt on the palate, again, salty and also spicy with crushed peppers, some of the oak, and a certain peatiness too. Not a lot of fruit here, but distant hints of maybe some apple and exotics.

Finish: Pepper, a lot of salt, malt and some oak (coconut).

It was a nice dram all in all, but not sure I would like a bottle. A curious dram indeed. Don’t think I had many Balmenachs, so I do not really have a good reference…

2 thoughts on “BTC2014–Day #10–The Balmenach fiasco

  1. I definitely want a bottle of this. It might just be my favorite of the competition so far. Huge on the fruit and citrusy notes. Absolutely gorgeous. Lochside like, but more feisty

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