2006 Balmenach "Old Particular" 11 Year Old K&L Exclusive Speyside Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) (Previously $55)

SKU #1387596

The Balmenach Distillery is one of Speyside's oldest. Originally licensed to James McGregor in 1824, it was likely running illicitly for years before. The distillery sits hidden behind Lethendry Hill on the banks of the river Spey outside the town of Cromdale. The distillery changed hands many times over the last two centuries and was mothballed on occasion as well. In 1997, the distillery was sold to current owners, Inver House, who also sell the Balblair, Old Pultney, Knockdhu, and Speyburn whiskies. All of those brands have taken center stage over the last decade or so, while the distillery in Cromdale remains more or less unknown to the outside world. Save for a few old Flora & Fauna official bottlings, the Balmenach name is not really marketed and the distillery produces primarily for blending. While the distillery isn't an architectural stunner, the stark white buildings on the green landscape can be quite beautiful. Equally beautiful is the fine spirit coming out of the six pot stills on site. The distillery continues to use worm tubs to condense their spirit and the relatively tall thin necks of the still provide elegance to the spirit. The resulting whisky is full of rich maltiness and peppery spice. If you love the malt-driven Speyside style, then this Balmenach is a must-try at this price. Whisky snobs will probably snort at the unknown here, but the adventurous will be roundly rewarded for trying something new. At this price you can afford to risk it!

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By: David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/13/2018 | Send Email
This gnarly little Balmenach is the first from the distillery we've ever bottled. The odd little hidden distillery is the unsung hero the year - no one seems to be familiar with it, but everyone who tries it understands why we bought it. After the initial funky whiffs blow off, the whisky opens to an inviting array of malty flavors, grainy and fresh, it takes a drop of water to tease the exceptional nuance of this awesome cask. With water marmalade on warm biscuits, freshly picked pears and leaves, digestive cookies and tea. On the palate equally appealing and still on the gorgeous breakfast flavors. Babies bum really, smooth and soft. And an easy going one (with water), but sometimes it’s best to just drink not think.

By: Jeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/10/2018 | Send Email
This is from a distillery that we don't get to see often as a single malt bottling. In many ways it is a very pretty whiskey. The nose is really nice with sweet honey and spice aromas. In the mouth the sweetness continues but is balanced out with a pleasant dry finish. With water it opens up and becomes more complex with honey nuances and a dry finish.

By: Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/1/2018 | Send Email
Both upon first tasting this in Scotland, and again once the cask arrived, the very first thing to pop into my head when nosing the glass is sake. It's a bit unusual for a whisky to remind me of one of Japan's other great exports, but there is a magical umami savor in the nose of this whisky coupled with a delicate fruitiness that I can't shake as reminiscent of one of the finest Junmai sakes I've ever tasted. Moving into the more traditional realm of baked fruit pies and coarse brown sugar in the raw, this whisky also has a gentle and sweet side to it. Baking spices on the back end of the palate coupled with a surprisingly lengthy and dry finish make this 11 year old from an obscure distillery a secret winner in our extensive lineup of new casks. It is infinitely more complex than you'd expect such a young whisky to be.

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Alcohol Content (%): 59.3