On Tuesday I was welcomed home by a big brown envelope. Normally when you say brown envelope you start thinking of discreetly packed goods you don’t want your neighbors to know about, but in this case I don’t really care. There were samples inside!
The new Benromach 15 had arrived. I was looking forward to trying it but since I’ve put my whisky spending on hold for a while I have not ordered a bottle yet. I knew there might be a sample coming, but otherwise I would have aimed for a sample at Maltstock. With 200 whisky geeks there’s bound to be someone who brings a bottle…
Since the release of the new Benromach 10 last year the guys from Forres are on a roll. They’ve collected many awards and lots of praise from bloggers and aficionados. Probably from magazines and companies too, but I try not to follow that too much.
It’s not very strange that this sudden love for the brand and the distillery has emerged since they are doing what a lot of disitilleries are moving away from. This might be a little influenced by marketing, but I do have the feeling that they’re giving the whisky an old fashioned production process instead of cutting corners to get to the next NAS release just a little bit quicker.
The heavy, somewhat dirty old fashionedness we’ve come to expect from Benromach is here too. Just like in the 10, 100 proof and Organic. The sherry is more prominently present which might be because of the longer maturation or different cask usage. Oloroso with peach, mango, a lot of fruit. Orange oil, the fatty, estery stuff.
The palate is fatty and quite dry. Sherry, oak and orange. Some mango and peach here as well. A touch of smoke and peat? Not too oaky, but it is oily. After a while I get strawberries and rhubarb.
The finish has those strong Oloroso notes. It’s not very long but has lovely fruity flavors. It’s full, rich, a little bit dirty. That dirtiness here reminds me of engine oil or grease.
Like the organic from a little while ago, and both ten year olds from longer ago, this is a great dram. It’s quite different, but also similar. The similarity is mostly in the very old fashioned flavors, or at least a modern take on those. All of the whiskies I’ve had so far had that.
The difference between the younger versions and this is that this has much more cask influence compared to the others. The spirit has been subdued a little bit more and the sherry casks are more prominently showing their flavors. This results in much more fruit and (luckily) not just a lot more wood.
But, anyway you put it, this is a very tasty dram. It might not be as iconic as the 10 year old, or as intense as the 10 year old 100 proof, but it is delicious in its own way.
As was to be expected, the price of this is slightly higher than all others they have in their standard line, at € 80. In the current climate this is not really surprising, of course.
Benromach 15 year old, 43%. Available in most good liquor shops at € 80 or so.
Thanks to Benromach for sending me this sample!