OK, time for one more whisky from Douglas Laing and this time a whisky from mostly unrecognized distillery bottled for Douglas Laing premium brand ‘Directors Cut’ – Balmenach 30 years old.
Unless you’re a whisky geek/nerd, you probably didn’t hear of Balmenach before. and it’s no wonder as Balmenach don’t bottle their own single malt with most of their production going into blends such as Hankey Bannister. So it’s a great opportunity to try some single malt independent bottling from such distillery (first Balmenach whisky for me), especially when it’s a 30 year old!
This cask was was distilled in September, matured for 30 years in a refill hogshead #10162 before bottling in December 2013 by Douglas Laing.
Douglas Laing Directors’ Cut Balmenach 30 (52.8%, 111 bottles, buy for £192 here)
Nose: Hmm. subdued at first, takes a bit to open up. Creamy and buttery sweet green apples along with vanilla and heather honey flipping to mild sweet floral & farm notes. Very complex, elegant and balanced nose.
Palate: Starts with sweet meadow, cut grasses and huge floral notes followed by second wave of heat and long gentle spiciness and some gentle loving oak wood. Hmmm…delicious!
Finish: Medium-Long length, lingering heat, spiciness and sweetness. oak wood with some burnt/toasted edge still fresh and lively despite being 30 year old.
Conclusion: Superb whisky from the relatively unknown distillery – good combination of floral and sweet notes all tamed down by age in a good cask. Good job by the crew at Douglas Laing for bottling this cask. I should look for more Balmenach bottlings in the future.
(Official sample from the Douglas Laing)