My girlfriend and I bought this Balmenach 9yo at The Vaults, the spiritual home of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, on the first day of our latest trip to Scotland. To be honest, we predominantly picked it because it was one of the cheapest whiskies they had on sale. As we were looking for a bottle from which we could pour ourselves a nightcap in the evenings to come, we figured that an entry-level expression would be more than sufficient to do the trick. Luckily, the “Bubblegum church candle” ended up doing a lot more than just that! The aromas and flavors it has to offer are quite unusual and highly fascinating – with the eponymous bubblegum being one of the most dominant notes in both the nose and the mouth. In addition to this somewhat artificial sensation, you will also discover various other sweet, creamy and fruity nuances in this bulky, young Speysider. As they all go into a similar direction, you could refer to the “Bubblegum church candle” as a one-trick pony. Which ain’t no bad thing at all. Cause as long as that one trick is such good fun, I am happy to see it being performed again and again and again…
Eye: Apple spritzer.
Nose: As the name suggests, there’s some tasty treats to be found in the Bubblegum Church Candle’s sturdy, sweet and rather unusual bouquet: Woodruff-flavored Hubba Bubbas, fresh lemon tart, brandied pears, unwrapped Caramac bars and chewy millionaire’s shortbread, just to name a few. The high ABV of 57.4 per cent blends very well with the delicate candy aromas.
Palate: The mouthfeel is thick and waxy (hence the “candle” in the name, I suppose) and the alcohol is tingly on the tip of the tongue… and the rest! The unique flavor profile of this 9-year-old Balmenach includes different sorts of Haribos as well as lime pudding, citrus fruits and mouth wash.
Finish: Lengthy and bulky with a slight bitterness from gobstoppers, green tea and burnt cookies. Ka-boooom!
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Region: Scotland (Speyside)
Age: 9 years
Alc. volume: 57.4 per cent
Cask type: 1st fill ex-bourbon barrel
# of bottles: 240
Bottle size: 0.7 litres
Price range: ~50.00 Euro
More info: https://www.smws.com/ (Bottler)