Little over a week ago I got a nice, but empty envelope from G&M in Elgin. The only thing in there was a description of how nice it would be to taste the new 35 year old Benromach. I expected a mail man or DHL delivery guy to have a rather cracking week night, but the samples that should’ve been there got returned to Benromach.
Two days later (ridiculously fast) I got a new envelope, this time actually containing the samples that should be there. Me happy.
Benromach was never much on my radar. Not until they released the revamped 10 year old some two years ago. Before that it was so far off my radar that I didn’t even buy the 1981 vintage when I could for only € 90. I feel like a dick about that.
Anyway, I love the distillery since I got to know their products. The 10 is a staple, the 10 at 100 proof is ridiculously good value and we (me and mates) visited the place in November. We did the tour with Keith Cruickshank. It was an awesome afternoon.
Now I got to try the brand spanking new 35 year old whisky!
The nose starts rather timid with lots of old oak. There are some baking spices too, but again, in a very mellow way. I get quite a lot of fresh peaches, or better, old peaches, just not dried. You know, those wrinkly, intensely sweet ones. Some banana too. A touch of mint in the background. Honey and warm sponge cake.
The palate is very smooth, but rich. Old and fruity. Peaches, some raisins. It’s soft and slightly spicy, again with the baking spices. Light hints of pepper and clove, some cinnamon. Sawdust in the background and after half an hour I get a (rather delicious) flavor of matches. It’s a tiny hint but done in a way that is absolutely gorgeous.
The finish is more dry than I expected. At first I thought it was going away quickly, but it just mellows and then lasts rather long. Old peaches, dried peaches. Smooth with some spices and sawdust.
Oh yes. Very much yes. The ‘oldness’ is restrained, as in the whisky isn’t completely overpowered by oak and the spices work very well. I am so happy this is in line with their other products and some vanilla focused whisky (like so many others nowadays).
The spiciness from the sherry casks works very well with the oak and the spirit, and it makes for a delicious dram. The 43% make it a whisky to spend an evening with since it is quite easily overpowered.
Also, I think you notice the difference in approach between the new and old owners. This is a slightly more modern version of Benromach with not as much focus on the peat and a more gentle spirit. I think it still is awesome, but slightly more timid than a 35 year old of their current spirit would be.
Benromach 35, 43%. Available in various markets for around € 550.
Thanks to Benromach for sending a sample, twice! Much obliged.