Whisky Review: Balmenach 10 Years Old 2005 Cask 11247 Provenance

Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky

Origin: Balmenach Distillery

Bottling: Douglas Laing, Provenance

ABV: 46%

Cost: £41.50 from Douglas Laing or £35.33 from Master of Malt

balmenach-10-year-old-2005-cask-11247-provenance-douglas-laing-whisky

What they say:

Douglas Laing’s Provenance Single Malts are bottled exactly as the distiller intended – without colouring and without chill filtration, so that the naturally present oils, fats and enzymes in the Whisky are allowed to make their own special contribution to the nose, mouthfeel, palate and finish. This particular expression from the Balmenach Distillery has spent 10 years maturing in a Refill Hogshead.

Nose:

Opens with a fresh, fruity style, carrying a green apples and red berries quality

Palate:

Sweet, still fruity, with fresh green plums and a crisp malted barley character

Finish:

Medium long, replicating all of the above plus fruit bitters

What I say:

My interest in Balmenach was recently renewed following reading of Sir Robert Bruce Lockhart’s book ‘Scotch, The Whisky of Scotland in Fact and Story’. Established the same year (1824) as it’s much more famous neighbour The Glenlivet, Balmenach is relatively under-known as it is not marketed as a single malt by its current owners Inver House. This Independently bottled expression by Douglas Laing as part of their Provenance range represents 10 year old spirit matured in refill hogshead – making it as close as one can get to the true nature of Balmenach spirit and an indication perhaps of what an official 10 year old may be like? Thanks to Tom at Toms Whisky Reviews (and also our local Douglas Laing Fellow) for sharing this with us.

Colour:

Straw gold (2/20) medium-fine droplets leave long medium legs

Nose:

Fresh and fruity, with lots of zesty lemon citrus – like washing up liquid remarked one taster, cereal barley malt, gristy, vanilla custard or cream, slightly dusty, crisp green apples a little herbal with aniseed and some dark sugars, treacle or molasses

Taste:

Fruity on the palate but with more ripened orchard fruits first, apple, nectarine, peach, a little liquorice root and herbal fennel, heather honey, lemon and orange barley sugar sweeties, toffee, caramel or caramac bars, zesty red grapefruit citrus

Finish:

Medium length, zesty & citric peel and fruit juice

Overall:

A refreshingly pleasant dram, with nice zesty and fruity elements, perhaps more spirit heavy as other cask influences seemed quite light, a touch of vanilla and hints of herbal fennel and liquorice suggest underactivity from the wood. This light and citrus whisky would make an excellent pairing with fish or seafood, especially served in richer cream sauces as the whisky is palate cleansing & refreshing.

Score: 84/100

Don’t take my word for it:

Bloggers submit a link to your review