Bottler: Single Cask Collection
Age: 8 years
Limitation: 199 Bottles
Casks: Bourbon barrel and rum cask
The nose is quite a bit high on the alcohol on the first whiff, with a noticeable rum influence underneath. A navy-strength alcoholic rum nose would be the best way to describe it. Also notes of fresh citrus, ginger, molasses, bitter cocoa/chocolate, fermented tea and white pepper. Hmmm… Where’s the malt whisky underneath? Time to add some water, I guess. Ah! Less citrus, pepper and alcohol, more sweetness (sweetened rum). Still looking for the whisky. Let’s move on. The palate (diluted) is initially sweet on the arrival before the alcohol influence kicks in (navy-strength style) and after 10 seconds the alcohol has settled down and we can assess the aromas. Rum, for sure (distilled from molasses), but there’s also some whisky to be found in the form of malty notes. Sweaty pirate salt notes, caribbean spices, wormwood, vanilla infused pipe tobacco and oaky ship planks (oaksap, not old oak notes) providing a slight dry note… pirates ahoy! (oh dear, is the summer heat finally getting to me?). Let it sit for a long time in the glass with less dilution and the sweet components get much more pronounced – well worth the wait! The medium long finish starts off sweet and with an alcoholic kick upon swallowing, drying down to reveal malty and “green” notes (chewing on sugarcane?) with a slight yeasty touch towards the end.
Is this “Pirates of the Speyside: The curse of the rum barrel”? Quite possibly so. An enjoyable and quite “different” rumsky, errr, whisky, for sure. This young Balmenach stood no chance against the pirate fleet attacking in the form of a rum cask finish. If you like rum and you like whisky, this might just be the right cross-breed for you.
(Nose: 83 Palate: 83 Finish: 80)
Thanks to malt mate Manny for the sample!