This is the second SMWS 48.? I have reviewed. Code 48 refers to Balmenach distillery, the largest distillery in the Inver house distillers family (owners of Old Pultney, AnCnoc and Balblair. One can only guess, but since Balmenach is so large and as the single malt itself is not fashionable, it is likely that most Balmenach ends up in the company blends, of which, Hankey Bannister is the flagship.
The last Balmenach I reviewed was SMWS 48.33 ‘Marshmallows and chocolate eclairs and I loved it. A real sweetshop style dram. This one is called “Honey Roast Vegetables” and was sent to me by Tom Thomson founder of Tom’s Whisky Reviews. Cheers Tom!
For distilleries like Balmenach, independent bottlers like the SMWS can be our only chance to see what the distillery has to offer. As an SMWS member and buyer of lots of whisky, I still get drawn to the more famous names when looking to buy. This is a lesson to myself, and maybe anyone who reads this, that taking a chance on the rarely seen distilleries can really pay off. Here are the dramstats:
- Age 12yo
- ABV 59.9%
- Balmenach distillery
Nose: Baked pumpkin and butternut squash, roast parsnips, nougat (like you can buy at a fair), vanilla, honey. Water brings almonds, marzipan and icing. Time in the glass leads the almonds to become “toasted” which was quite fun as the tasting went on.
Palate: Lots of sweet honey, vanilla, nougat and a touch of pepper.
Finish: Vanilla and nougat. Pepper and drying oak in the background for an overall sweet finish.
Verdict: A lovely sweet single malt. Excellent nose with sweet roast vegetables as the name suggests, morphing into nougat from the fair. It definitely takes water but it does well neat. Look out for Balmenach from the indie bottlers!