Last year Benromach relaunched and revamped their line of whiskies. While the distillery was never on my map before that, I’ve found out that their 10 year old is a real cracker. I’ve also heard very positive things about the other releases (Organic, Peat Smoke and 5 year old).
When the 100 proof version of the ridiculously good 10 year old was announced I knew I wanted one. So, when it appeared in the shop at De Whiskykoning, I got one. As I’m still in a challenge to decrease my amount of open bottles I decided to not open it yet, but just before Christmas Gordon & MacPhail / Benromach decided to send me a sample of it anyway, by means of seasons greetings. I love them for it.
As far as I know, we’ve technically got the same whisky, at an elevated ABV. The website doesn’t state the cask make-up of this whisky, so I assume it’s also 80/20 regarding bourbon and sherry casks, with the same 1 year finish in first fill oloroso.
The first thing that stands out is the grandeur with which this whisky presents itself. Even without the high ABV this would be in your face (in a very, very good way). It’s very old fashioned with spices and overripe fruit. The alcohol hits then, but after that there’s a hint of smoke. More a machine smoke than a peat fire, though. As far as I know, this is a style reminiscent of the 1960s of single malt. Quite meaty too, later on.
The palate is intense with quite some alcohol burn at first, but the richness of the whisky soon overpowers that. Christmas pudding, stewed fruits, sherry, spices, spiced sponge cake. Also beef and dried plums. There’s quite some oak and a slightly greasy texture.
The finish shows that machine smoke again. Quite a dirty kind of smoke, but oh so tasty. Oil, engine grease, diesel, awesome! The rest is back with a vengeance too, with sweet spices, ripe fruit and oak.
I know I bought a bottle, but I just might pick up another one very soon. This is awesome stuff, especially at the low price point at which it sits (some € 60). This is just so, so very good. All the flavors I love in whisky are stacked together, without the oak reigning supreme. There’s enough room for the rich spirit to shine and the combination of casks makes for a great, great set of flavors.
This one, together with the 10 year old might just make Benromach one of my new favorite distilleries, and if the trip to Scotland with my mates is happening later this year, it will surely have a spot in the itinerary.
Take note, distilleries and brands. It is possible to make great whisky at a decent price nowadays.
Full disclosure: Benromach sent me a sample of this, and their 10 year old for Christmas. Thanks a million for it, guys and gals!