SMWS 48.46 Exploding flower

Balmenach 12 Years Old 2001 48.46 Exploding flower (57.4%, SMWS, 1st Fill Bourbon Barrel, 216 Bottles, 2014)

  • Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky
  • Origin: Balmenach Distillery
  • Bottling: SMWS Cask 48.53
  • ABV: 57.4% ABV
  • Cost: £43.80
  • Score: 83/100


What they say:

Cask No. 48.46

The nose started with linoleum and green leaf, but slowly opened like a flower – vanilla sponge, Danish pastries, toffee, some fruit (strawberry, banana) and floral notes (gentian, rosewater, gorse). The neat palate was assertive, but complex and unusually bitter-sweet – ‘biting an orange’, tutti-frutti, jelly beans – one panellist found a honey, vodka and gunpowder mixture, but he self-combusted and didn’t trouble us anymore. With water, the nose became freshly intriguing, with tinned fruit salad, old-fashioned lemonade, tree-bark, liquorice and menthol. The palate was now really rather pleasant – juicy, sweet and refreshing, with peach and pear balancing clove and aniseed spice.

Date Distilled: 1-Nov-01 Colour: Yellow gold Age: 12 years Flavour : Sweet, Fruity & Mellow Cask Type: 1st fill barrel Whisky Region: Speyside Spey

SMWS 48.46

What I say:

Thanks to Tom at Toms Whisky Reviews for the sample. We recently ticked off Balmenach (SMWS Distillery #48) from our list but just like buses, you wait for ages then 2 come at once. This cask was distilled and matured at similar times so makes a great comparator to our last expression: Balmenach 12 Years Old 2001 – 48.53 Big boots fruity bruiser ~ 57.8% (SMWS)


Dull amber gold/antique gold (7/20), fine tears leave very fine legs


Floral and sweet, vanilla custard, violets, fabric softener or conditioner/fresh linen, coconut and gorse flowers, heather, sweet pastries, light cereal flour, Madeira cake, lemon and orange citrus, banana milkshake


Fruity, fruit medley, apple, melon, mandarin orange segments, peach, pear, floral and perfumed, barley sugars, cereal flour, Madeira cake, lime and menthol, eucalyptus and clove spice


Long perfumed and fruity sweet a hint of spice and ascerbic oak wood balanced by sweetness


A dram full of interesting and quite complex flavours, this one borders on the line between fruit and flowery with a hint creeping in of fabric softener or similar. Saved at the end by an intensity of spice and oak wood, making it very moreish.

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