Balmenach distillery is situated in Cromdale, Grantown-on-Spey, Morayshire (Speyside) and was founded, or at least obtained an official license to operate in 1824.

It remained in the McGregor family until 1922 when it was sold to a blending company and then sold onwards various times over the next 40 years.

In 1983 United Distillers bought the distillery, only to mothball it ten years later in 1993.


United Distillers became Diageo but they sold the distillery onwards again, this time to Inver House Distillers in 1997 who restarted production in the Spring of 1998.

Balmenach has a capacity of around 2 million litres of pure alcohol per year.


General whisky characteristics: Smooth, fresh, herbal



More great distillery info here, thanks to Malt Madness


Distillery photos with kind permission by Teimei Horiuchi





Balmenach-Glenlivet, 14y, 57.5% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle; Unknown


Glass: lClassic Malt

Colour: lRich and dark, teak.

Nose: Initially furniture polish over warming bread dough. It's very aromatic and after a few minutes in the glass it turns quite herbal.

Palate: Rich and warming, peppery tingly. It's mouth-coating with a suggestion of that furniture polish and (black) pepperiness.

Finish: Everlasting.

Overall Impression: Fantastic, "Great", just how whisky should be.




Independent Bottlers



G&M, Balmenach, distilled 1989, 43% ABV

Connoisseurs Choice

Typical cost of this bottle;


Nose: Immediately fresh malty grass.

Palate: Very smooth with hints of popcorn and liquorice in a basket of fresh herbs.

Finish: Long.

Overall Impression: My first Balmenach and I like it. Smooth and long with a distinct freshness.




Maltbarn, Balmenach, 32y, 1979-2012, 53.1% ABV

Matured in a Bourbon Barrel, Maltbarn Edition 4, one of 209 bottles

Typical cost of this bottle;

Tasted (blind) for MMA 2012


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: 9ct yellow gold

Nose: Nicely aromatic but just a little dry. There's an almost light leafiness initially present, maybe grainy bread, maybe even porridge oats? Also a gentle musky perfumed quality, lightly prefumed bread dough? Very pleasant and very different.

Palate: That perfumed bread dough-iness really comes to the fore on the palate alongside a fruitiness of apples, pears and cherries. It's quite mouth-coating too, chalky? Not really, coconut?

Finish: Long with some coconut right at the end.

Overall Impression: Excellent, very enjoyable. Gimme more.









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