Balmenach

The distillery was founded by James MacGregor in 1924. At the beginning it was a small farmers distillery with the aim of preserving their barley in the form of Whisky. In 1897 the distillery was bought by Glenlivet Ltd. In 1930 the owner changed again and now it belonged to Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd.

Information about the Distillery
69 Bottles
Scotland, Speyside
-3.532109 57.325423
Active
Inver House Distillers Ltd
1824
1,800,000 l
Average tasting notes Tasting Notes
Calculated from 14 Tasting Notes
i
Nosing
Fruit:
Sweet:
Sherry:
Lemon:
Peat Smoke:
Floral:
Herbs:
Zitrus:
Vanilla:
Chocolate:
Nuts:
Malt:
Oak:
Spices:
Orange:
Pear:
Alcohol:
Anise:
Tasting
Fruit:
Sweet:
Sherry:
Oak:
Nuts:
Spices:
Peat Smoke:
Raisin:
Floral:
Oil:
Herbs:
Chocolate:
Caramel:
Dried Fruit:
Vanilla:
Malt:
Plum:
Banana:
Orange:
Heather:
Hazelnut:
Pear:
Honey:
Alcohol:
Anise:
Zitrus:
Finish
Sherry:
Nuts:
Oak:
Spices:
Malt:
Floral:
Herbs:
Fruit:
Peat Smoke:
Raisin:
Oil:
Chili:
Details about the Distillery

The Whisky

The Whiskies of Balmenach are rather fruity and not peated, which is very typical for a Speyside distillery. But there have only been very few distillery bottlings. The major part of the bottling is done by independent bottlers like Gordon and MacPhail or Douglas Laing.

The Production

The Distillery is capable of producing 1.8 million litres of spirit per year. The water comes from different water sources from the Cromdale Hills.

View on the distillery from the street.
View of the Balmenach Distillery

The Pot Stills

Balmenach has three wash stills and three spirit stills. All of them are built in a row and are very beautiful to look at. All the stills have a reflux bowl and the neck of the still is very high. The lyne arm is falling after the bend. The height and the reflux bowl allow the spirits to separate very well and create the smooth Balmenach distillery character. Balmenach is one of the very few distilleries left in Scotland which still prform a triple distillation.

The Maltings

The malt of the Balmenach distillery is always unpeated. There are old malting floors, but they have been closed since 1962.

The Warehouse

Balmenach likes to use a lot of Sherry casks. Most of them are hogsheads or the normal Sherry butt.

The Gin

At Balmenach, in addition to Whisky, the Gin Caorunn has also been handcrafted since 2009. Five of the eleven botanicals are harvested by hand on site and slowly distilled in the world's only functioning Copper Berry Chamber. Here, the botanicals are spread evenly on four perforated trays. With the help of diffusers, the steam is then slowly dispersed to ensure that the aromas are extracted as well as possible. The distillation is always carried out in small batches of 1,000 litres.

The name of the Gin, pronounced 'ka-roon', is derived from the Gaelic word for rowan berry, one of the main ingredients in Caorunn. The four other Celtic botanicals are heather, Coul Blush apples, dandelion and bog myrtle.

In addition to the classic Caorunn Small Batch Scottish Gin, which is best served with a slice of red apple, the distillery now also has other Gins in its range. In the Caorunn Scottish Raspberry, an additional portion of Perthshire raspberries provides a fruity note alongside the bitter rowan berry. The Highland Strength Gin, with an alcohol content of 54%, is much stronger and has an almost minty-fresh aroma, with the juniper balanced by fragrant and herbal notes. The Gin Master's Cut, available exclusively to Travel Retail, borrows characteristics from the classic Caorunn, with a spicy juniper aroma, highlighted by Celtic botanicals and apple.

Balmenach Copper Berry Chamber
Balmenach Copper Berry Chamber

The History

The distillery was founded by James MacGregor in 1924. At the beginning it was a small farmers distillery with the aim of preserving their barley in the form of Whisky. In 1897 the distillery was bought by Glenlivet Ltd. In 1930 the owner changed again and now it belonged to Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd. In 1962 the production was increased and another two stills were set up.

After the first official distillery bottling was issued in 1991 the distillery closed in 1993. Then in 1997 the Inver House distillery bought Balmenach and started production again in 1998.

The Visitor Centre

There is no visitor centre at the Whisky distillery, but you can call the distillery and make arrangements. However, tours of the Gin distillery are offered. Here you can learn how the distillation process in the Copper Berry Chamber differs from others and also taste samples from the range. You can book a Caorunn Gin Tour online for 15 pounds.

Visitor information

Distillery Address

Balmenach Distillery
Balmenach Road
Cromdale
Grantown-on-Spey
PH26 3PF
Tel: +44 (0)1479-874933

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