Whisky Review: Hidden Spirits Balmenach 2004 Aged 13 Years

Style: Fruity and Creamy

Nose:
Powerful, lively while also incredibly dense sweetness bursting forward. Tinned pears, honey oatmeal, coconut shreds and vanilla cream shaking up a brilliant concoction. In comes a long queue of glazed fruits rained with lavender petals, peppermint leaves and barley husks. The fragrance is nicely counterbalanced by assorted dry spices and green grass notes. A massive and impressive aroma.

Palate:
The theme of creamy pears, toffee apples and glazed tropical fruits continues on the palate. The sweetness is compressed, condensed and fired at the front with power. Then we have some orange confectioneries and give zingy side brushes. Cream soda fizzing, barley tucks under and build a cereal bed well below the sweetness. Hints of white flower confectioneries and taro pudding. A slight mineral flick, followed by a small bite of white oak at the tail.

Finish:
Soft bitter afterbite and a sense of lingering cream soda sweetness, and perhaps some mixed fruits jelly. A subtle end to a big whisky.

Thoughts:
Despite its youthfulness and lesser-known status, this Balmenach is a juggernaut of whisky. The starburst of ultra-condensed fruits is simply mind-boggling, which is then adeptly neutralised and complimented by the massive creaminess and undercurrent of dry spices, they combined and produce a beautiful fruit bomb with incredible weight and texture. I don’t know about you guys, but I have already tried quite a few excellent Balmenachs and couldn’t help but feel this distillery deserve a little more love… Back to this dram, although there are still some roughness and limitations because of its age, for me at least, this is a drop I would highly recommend.

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

[51.2% | 2018 Bottled | 2004 Distilled | Single Cask | Independent Bottling | Cask Reference: BLM418 | Cask Strength | **-]

-Esmond