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Balmenach Scotch whisky distillery lies in the Haughs of Cromdale in the Spey valley. It was in these hills on the last day of April 1690 that an army of Jacobite soldiers were ambushed by dragoon guards; this battle marked the effective end of the Jacobite rising.

In the early 1800 James McGregor and his two brothers crossed the hills from Tomintoul and set up a farm.

James also set up an illicit still on the site. When the licensing act was introduced James obtained a license for his distillery and formally established it in 1824.


The distillery was owned and operated by the McGregor family until it was sold in 1922 to a company that would become DCL. In 1993 UDV took the decision to mothball Balmenach, the distillery lay silent until 1998 when Inver House Distillers bought the distillery making it the company's fifth and largest distillery. The first distillate of Balmenach for 5 years was then produced in March of that year, and stored in casks in one of the three dunnage warehouses on the site.


As is predominant of Inver House Distillers the traditional machinery and methods are still used to this day. This includes a cast iron mash tun, mashing slightly more than 8 tonnes every 7.5 hours. The wash is fermented in six douglas fir washbacks for a minimum of 50 hours before it is sent to the stillhouse for distillation.


The stillhouse comprises of three wash stills and three spirit stills capable producing over 2 million litres of whisky a year. This sprit travels slowly through 90 metres of copper tube coils in large tubs of cold water, known as "worm tubs", before it enters one of the two spirit safes in the stillhouse. There it is transferred to one of two spirit vats. The smaller of these being used for the filling of casks on site to then be matured in oak casks for many years until the spirit is deemed at its best for bottling.



Balmenach Whisky Tasting Notes


Distillery Style


Nose :      Floral and fruity, honey and vanilla.( sometimes sherried )

Palate :    Full to medium bodied. Soft and fruity with vanilla,

                  nuts and a touch of spice.

Finish :    Long and fruity with a hint smoke.



Balmenach 8 year old      Provenance 46%

                                             Drawn from two Refill Hogsheads 4573+4574


Nose  :     Very fresh and fruity. Toffee and vanilla, Murry Mints.

Palate :    Creamy, Citrus fruits, smooth and sweet.

Finish :    Long and smooth.



Balmenach 12 year old    Provenance 46%

                                             Distilled Spring 1998 bottled Summer 2010

                                             From one Refill Hogshead DMG Ref : 6410


Nose   : Sweet and spicy with honey and ginger.

Palate : Velvety mouth-feel with creamy vanilla and toffee and more


Finish : Long with more of the same and summer fruits.



Balmenach 10 year old     Deerstalker 40%


Nose   : Fresh, aromatic with barley and shortbread.

Palate : Soft vanilla, malty sweetness with a hint of honey and spice.

Finish : Lusious vanilla and barley.

Balmenach Scotch Whisky Review

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Balmenach Single Cask Hepburn's Choice