Balmenach 12 2004 Cadenhead Single Cask

Thanks to /u/Scotchguyto for sharing this dram.

I’m at a tasting. Pretty nice one. There’s a palate opener. I’ve already reviewed it. We’re good.

And then we dive right in.

Up first we had Balmenach 12 2004 Cadenhead Single Cask, an ex-bourbon 12-year-old cask strength single cask from the constantly used for blends Balmenach. Which is too bad, because they do a long ferment and use worm tubs, thus making a meatier malt that can hold up to sherry.

But what happens without the sherry? And when those rascally Cadenhead hoodlums get involved? Let’s see, shall we?

Price: N/A

Region: Speyside

Vintage: 2004

Bottled: 2017

Cask Type: Bourbon Hogshead

Number of bottles: 276

Abv: 55.3%

Colour: 10Y 9/4

Nose: Pineapple, cereal, cream, sod, perfume, lemon

Tropical and cereal forward. Some cream, some odd perfume notes. A good amount of lemon, some earth/grass.

Bit lighter nose. Think more of a Lowland than a Speyside. What a good way to start this all off.

Taste: Grass, fruit leather, papaya, dandelion, gummies

Continues with the grass, gets some of that dry fruit/gummy note going on. Actually there’s some bitterness there with that I’m not loving. Feels partially artificial, like… well, fruit leather.

Don’t @ me Sunrype.

Finish: Peanut brittle, lime pie, cotton, limestone, caramel

Nice sweet finish with some nutty and citrus notes, again some more of that grass. There’s a strong-as-rock mineral note there that really throws me off a bit. I tend to like that before the fruit, otherwise, it lingers too long.

Conclusion: Interesting, citrus-forward dram that has odd rough moments that screw things up. This is what I’d call the perfect way to start a tasting: Mineral, fruit, perfume, and some nuttiness.

That said, while that’s totally up my alley that it’s gone around my block four times, this had some hiccups. Lighter nose with an earthy, rough element. Taste that has some artificial/bitter notes that get a bit too up in my face. And a finish that goes stronger on the mineral than can be ignored.

All in all, a good dram to sip on, but makes me want more Lowlands that get it better.

82/100

Scotch review #1170, Speyside review #328, Whisky Network review #1807

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