Finally, I decided to try this baby. G&M/Benromach sent it to me a few months ago, right about when all the other reviews came online. Somehow I’ve not been tasting a lot of whisky lately and I wanted to properly sit down for something of this caliber.
This single cask official release (you don’t see too many of these…) from Benromach should be quite awesome. Mostly since everyone likes older whiskies, and Benromach is a pretty great distillery itself. A combination of that which should work out.
And as well it should be great. This baby clocks in at £ 1200 (currently some € 1450) which is just about as much as I care to spend on bottles in a far longer period. Let’s say a year or more. But we can’t really blame them can we? Us whisky geeks have been overspending for years so the producers would be mad not to cash in on this trend!
Rich with lots of barley coming through. Lots of oak too, but it’s not overshadowing the other flavors. The chaff of grains, that coarseness. Also dried peach, baking spices with ‘speculaas’, and cloves showing. A very different style of whisky from the current 10 year old. More focus on the cask, but smooth and gentle.
The sharpness here is not from the alcohol but more the flavor of red peppers and grains, although it’s not at a low ABV. Oak, spices, and a bit of fruit. Peach, some almonds with their bitterness.
The finish shows a bit more age, with more flavors like you’d expect from a 40+ years old whisky. Quite long with lots of focus on the cask. Wood spices galore, and hints of dried fruit.
Well, it’s not as ‘old’ as I expected, with the obviously old and spicy notes becoming prominent only on the finish. They’re there before, but not in a way you’d expect from something that’s been waiting to be drunk for over four decades.
Is it good? Sure it is! Is it £ 1200 good? Meh. Apart from the fact that I have never and (hopefully) will never spend that kind of money on whisky, I think this is pushing the boundaries of what’s credible, even in this day and age.
On the other hand, it has sold out in many locations, so apparently they’ve priced it quite acceptably. Still, it’s just shy of greatness with the ‘before-G&M’ style Benromach not producing as powerful a spirit as they could. I think if they release something like this with the spirit that they’re producing now in three decades, I’d sell a kidney for it.
Benromach 1974-2016, 41yo, Sherry Butt 1583, 49.1%. Available at The Whisky Exchange.
Thanks to Benromach and Gordon & MacPhail for sending a sample!