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Balmenach Distillery History
Balmenach distillery is nestled at the bottom of 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, as the Jacobite forces were ambushed during their sleep many were slain the remaining fled nearly naked, this defeat effectively ended the Jacobite rising in the Highlands.
In the early 1800 three brothers crossed these hills from Tomintoul and set up a farm. One of these brothers was a James McGregor who also set up an illicit still on the site. Shortly after the licensing act was introduced James McGregor obtained a license for his distillery formally establishing
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 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 Single Malt Scotch WhiskyDistillery Bottlings
Balmenach was bottled as a single malt at 12 years old by its previous owners UDV under the Flora & Fauna label, now only available in the collectors market and auctions.
Inverhouse released a 27 and 28 year old for their Highland Selection. This was a limited edition of whiskies selected by their distillery managers, So far they have not released a distillation from their ownership.
Balmenach Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Chieftain’s Choice (Ian Macleod & Co)
Deerstalker (Aberfoyle & Knight),
Gordon & MacPhail,
Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing),
Private Cellars (Speyside Distillers)
Scott's Selection (Speyside Distillers)
Balmenach Single Malt Scotch Whisky 1990
Connoisseurs Choice 43% 70cl
Bottled by Gordon & MacPhail.
Distillation date: 1990 Bottling date: 2008 Cask Type: First Fill Sherry Butt
Tasting notes :-
Nose : Delicate citrus and prominent sherry notes.
Palate : Sweeet and nutty, has a certain finesse.
Body : Light.
Finish : Smooth and silky. (GM)
Founded in 1824 by James McGregor
Location Speyside Cromdale region
Water Source Rasmudin Burn
Balmenach Distilling Equipment
Copper domed cast iron mash Tun,
6 Oregon pine washbacks
6 Squat pot stills with boil balls in their necks.
Worm tub condensers.
Matured in American bourbon Sherry and refill casks.
Balmenach Distillery, Cromdale,
Tel: 01479 872569
No Visitor Facilities
Distillery Style Tasting Notes
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.