Distillery

Balmenach

About the distillery

This is an old distillery. James MacGregor tookout his licence in 1824 on what was a farm aftera period of illicit production. According to RobertBruce Lockhart, this took place soon after MacGregor had received a visit from a localgauger. When asked what a specific farmbuilding contained, he said it was simply a peatshed. “Well, I suggest you take out a licence forit,” replied the gauger.

This is an old distillery. James MacGregor tookout his licence in 1824 on what was a farm aftera period of illicit production. According to RobertBruce Lockhart, this took place soon afterMacGregor had received a visit from a localgauger. When asked what a specific farmbuilding contained, he said it was simply a peatshed. “Well, I suggest you take out a licence forit,” replied the gauger.

Bruce Lockhart was related to the MacGregorsand his highly recommended book, Scotch,contains many fascinating details about old-styledistillation as practised in Cromdale. Thedistillery eventually passed into the hands ofScotch Malt Distillers, DCL’s malt productionarm, which expanded the plant to include aSaladin maltings.

It was briefly mothballed between 1993 and1997, when it was sold to current owner, InverHouse, which also produces Caorunn Gin here.

Situated a mile inland from the village ofCromdale, Balmenach is one of Speyside’s mosttraditional distilleries and makes what could beclassed as an ‘old-style’ whisky.

The fermentation is long, the stills relativelysmall and run quickly, and the vapour runs intoworm tubs, rather than shell and tubecondensers. This helps to produce a slow-maturing new make character which is rich andmeaty, ideal for adding weight and grunt toblends, and also to be a good match with ex-Sherry casks.

Inver House has no plans to release this highlydistinctive whisky as a single malt. The reasonfor this is that the make – whose style is unusualthese days – is too highly-prized as fillings forblends, both by Inver House and other firms.

  • Capacity – 2.8 Million Litres Per Annum
  • Mash Tun – Copper domed stainless steel
  • Stills – 3 wash stills, 3 spirit stills
  • Condenser Type – Worm tubs
  • Heat Source – Ground source pumps
  • Washbacks – Six washbacks made of Douglas fir
  • Mash Tun Type – Semi-lauther
  • Water Source – Spring on the Cromdale HillsA

A 1966 vintage, Balmenach ‘Mi ltonhaugh’ Whisky Connoisseur 28 Year Old, sold in February 2021 for £5,000 at auction

For the liquid they produce about 2.8 million litres per year with a 52 hour fermentation time. This expression is dependent on the maturation of the cask but generally has a nose of nutty biscuits, a touch of lychee, and apricot. The palate consists of oaky vanilla alongside summer berries and a smidge of almond. The finish is usually considerably bright and citrusy.

The excellent news for investors is that having access to such an old distillery provides the potential to purchase a piece of Scottish heritage.

A bottle of 14 year old Balmenach 2006 retails at £67.95.

Based on the above, if you were to hold your cask for 14 years, rather than 10 or 12, the return will be considerably more.

Current Bottle Prices

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£210

BALMENACH 1974 BOTTLED 2001 CONNOISSEURS CHOICE - 70CL / 40%

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£45.95

BALMENACH 12 YO 2007 BOTTLING NOTE - 70CL / 46%

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£5,000

BALMENACH 'MILTONHAUGH' 1966 WHISKY CONNOISSEUR 28 YEAR OLD - 70CL / 63.5%

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"Under valued but not under loved. We see a lot of potential in this distillery due to it's lowentry price. Great potential is alwaysimportant to achieve exceptional returns."

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