This is a bit of a thing nowadays, isn’t it? Making things organic. The food hype is already dying out a bit, but in the world of whisky it’s gaining momentum. At least, I seem to be hearing things about it more than I used to.
As far as I know Benromach have had an organic whisky for years so it’s nothing new for them. I wonder what made them decide to go for an organic whisky instead of a regular one. Personally, I don’t give a rats ass about a whisky being organic or not. I think much more is to be won if we focus our organic-mindedness elsewhere. Meat, for example, and veggies.
Anyway, Benromach was kind enough to send me a sample of this. It’s already been ages but I’ve been struggling to keep track of things. Luckily, they don’t appear to be in a rush and they haven’t pushed me for a more speedy review. But anyway, here it goes.
It’s heavy and old fashioned. A combination of good distillate and oak. It’s pretty sharp and I would have guessed the ABV to be 46% or even 48% if I didn’t know any better. The oak smells quite ‘European’. I tried this blind and would have sworn there were some sherry casks in the mix. Spices, dark spiced cake, aniseed. Some crisp and herbaceous too. Licorice and peppermint.
The palate is as heavy as the nose, but also shows those more crisp herb notes. Blackened barley and dried barley. Lots of oak and that inexplicable sherry note again. Ginger, baking spices. Really, really rich.
The finish is rich and quite sharp. Mostly spicy and lots of oak. Quite long as well.
This is a very weird whisky. As in, I just read that it’s been matured in virgin oak barrels and I would have sworn there were some sherry casks in the mix. Also, it tastes quite a bit stronger than the 43% it actually has.
I guess the age is also lower than I would have expected when tasting this blind. Closer to ten years instead of 5 or 6.
But, apart from my apparent surprise, this is a really good dram. It’s more fierce than the regular ten years old, but obviously not as strong as the 100 proof. What it boils down to is that this whisky has a lot more to offer than you’d expect from reading the label.
I love that. I like being surprised. Especially when the whisky is this good and this affordable (€ 46.50 in NL or so). It’s exactly in line with the other younger Benromachs I’ve tried over the last couple of months. The 10 year old, and the 10 year old 100 Proof. I have yet to try the 5 years old the newly released 15.
Where does this one stand compared to the others? The 100 proof is a very fierce and demanding dram, but utterly delicious. It’s much stronger and shows a more depth than this one. The regular 10 year old is more comparable, but that also shows more depth and more layers than the Organic. The Organic is a bit stronger on the palate, so if that’s your thing…
Luckily I’m visiting the distillery in November. It’s still months away but I can’t wait for my next trip to the promised land!
Benromach Organic, 2008-2014, 43%. Avialable regularly at varying prices.
Full disclosure: Benromach sent me this sample free of charge. The opinion is my own.