About half a year ago I reviewed a Benromach 11 for Germany too. That one was drawn from a sherry cask, at cask strength. This one isn’t a single cask, and has been brought down to 48%. Which just happens to be in the range of my preference (which is from 46 to 53, give or take)
Anyway, Germany has a pretty good relationship with Benromach, or so it seems. There’s some quality cask picking going on there, whereas a lot of Benromach Single Casks or Private Casks are these 62%, 8 year old bourbon napalm units… Let’s see if this one fits the ‘high quality mold’!
Rich and old fashioned with a slightly feinty nose. Lots of barley and a bit of oak, some salinity, and a whiff of vanilla and hessian. Warm bread and puff pastry, with a hint of leather too.
The palate has a nice bite, but is not sharp by any means. It’s not overpowering at all. Dry with notes of hessian, barley husks and toast. Some corky apple and puff pastry. A lot of good things!
The old fashioned, barley driven funkiness continues on the finish too. Quite similar to the palate, in that regard.
As far as Benromach goes, this is more or less what you would hope a bourbon cask would do. It leaves quite enough room for the spirit and highlights the similarities with the regular ten year old. That, to me, indicates that the spirit is very important in both bottlings, and brings the quality and flavors that I love so much.
It’s interesting that it tastes so much like single malts from a few decades ago, and with people (in the industry too) lamenting that things used to be so much better before all homogenisation, Benromach might the distillery to look at for answers. (As is Springbank, by the way).