Wednesday 12 February 2020

Balmenach 2005 SMWS 48.90 (Blind) Review

Hi everyone,

If you missed my Mellow Corn blind review, this is the second of three samples that I was given.
The only thing that I knew was that one of the three was a 30yo Sherried Linkwood. It was pretty clear from the off that it wasn’t this one.
As for Balmenach, has this to say: ’The fermentation is long, the stills relatively small and run quickly, and the vapour runs into worm tubs, rather than shell and tube condensers. This helps to produce a slow-maturing new make character which is rich and meaty, ideal for adding weight and grunt to blends, and also to be a good match with ex-Sherry casks.’

Medulla Cedri
Colour: Light Gold
Body: Light
Nose: Light nose, fruity with banana and green apple zest, banana foam sweets, soft vanilla. With some coaxing there's a little dry oak, spice and a herbal thing, perhaps some kind of spice rub with herbs involved, juniper in there as well. Opening up more as it goes on. Nice nose.
Taste: Soft and light, sharp citric lemon juice, green apple zest in there again, lime zest, citric acid, then there's a drier oaky thing developing.
Finish: Long length. Soft but stays with spice and oak, white pepper and a more herbal component again.
I quite like this despite it's obvious faults. The initial citrus on the taste is more of an attack! But it works.
Guess: 18-20yo grain whisky? Could be older though as well. Let’s say North British for the hell of it.
Reveal: 11yo Balmenach 2005 48.90 SMWS ‘Cedar, sandalwood and rose’ 57.1%. Interesting reveal! Really thought this was a mid-aged grain whisky with the super light body and levels of oak here. It is woody, so I can see why they named it what they did, though I didn’t really get any rose.

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Review #839
Whisky Network Review #1008

Network Average: 75.2
Best Score: 94
Worst Score: 12
0-49 Terrible
50-59 Bad
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
70-74 Good
75-79 Very Good
80-84 Excellent
85-89 Superb
90+ Magnificent

Full Disclosure Disclaimer: I currently work as the Global Brand Ambassador for Penderyn Distillery. The views expressed here are purely my own and do not reflect the views of Penderyn Distillery or The Welsh Whisky Company. I try to maintain as much objectivity as I can but feel free to take my reviews with as big a pinch of salt as you like. Furthermore, my rating scale is NOT based on a Parker type wine scoring scale or a school/college/university % or A-F grade score. You can find more on my scoring here. I apologise for any seemly low or 'bad' scores given with my system and I am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and I am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.

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