Dewar Rattray Balmenach Tasting Notes

Posted: February 29, 2012 in Balmenach, Scotch Whisky A-G

Dewar Rattray Balmenach 1983 (28 year old) 54.5%

Bourbon cask 2413/ Dist: 1983 Btl: Feb 2012/ Tasted: Feb 2012

Oh what a nose! Deep and moist with plenty of sawdusty oak along with a splash of honey. Mature, yet edgy soft fruit mingles with coffee, liquorice. Beautifully balanced a fresh edge to the aromas with some herbal moments too! With time a touch of lavender and violet appears, but those wonderful mature oak aromas envelope and bind, but it never becomes over oaked. 

Softly oiled and like the nose it opens with the sawdusty oak and crushed, fleshy fruit. Light spices, demerara sugar and herbal notes join in on the middle. Superbly deep and succulent, although the dry alcohol does mask the finish a bit as does some late dry wood notes. I’m expecting this to shine with a drop of water. 

And I was right. Diluted the nose now displays a wonderful perfumed orange note. It’s incredibly light and ethereal now! Pure liquid heaven with a shot of toasted Java coffee and moist, mature honey. On the palate it’s spices to the front! Still juicy and maybe a tad less intense but wonderfully soft and lingering. A delightful mouthful of light honey and oak.

Dewar Rattray Balmenach 1983 (30 year old) 51.2%

Bourbon Cask 2409/ Dist: 1983 Btl: 2013/ Tasted: Oct 2013

The aromas are dark, grainy and malty with a slight balsamic note and no shortage of edgy, earthy, coffee-spice, dark roasted nuts and old oak. A little honey begins to emerge along with some lightly sawdusty oak and toffee. 

The palate is mature, edgy, grainy and lightly spicy with dark, malty fruit along with hints of treacle and lightly medicinal herbs. It gets pretty bitter towards the middle as the old wood, spice and 90% cocoa notes kick in, however the coffee accented treacle balances it out pleasantly, well just about. Long and malty with the treacle/ coffee axis coating the mouth and leaving a lovely dark chocolate after-taste.


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