Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: 10 Years
It's Always Good To Feel Welcome!
Colour: Golden Sunlight
Nose: My first impressions are Dusty Wooden Shelves, Mild Juicy Peat, Charred Oak and light BBQ Smoke. It's Dry, Spicy and Herbal rather than Sweet. The Alcohol is not fully integrated and you need to be patient to find the full Aroma profile. After a while I identify light Brine, Soot, light Honey, Dried Fruits, Nuts, Toasted Barley, Toffee/Butterscotch, Pina Colada, Citrus Peel, Cinnamon and Mint. It's quite different from your average today's Speysider but back in the 1960's the use of lightly Peated Barley was common in the region. Benromach is reviving the past and I like that! It's a quite balanced Nose. After Nosing for 15 minutes or so I get visions of a slice of Fat Bacon marinated in Sherry and a tablet of Dark Chocolate lying side by side on a piece of muddy Islay football pitch. Not bad at all for a 10 Year old Speysider!
Part of the Distillery in the Blistering Heat!
Taste: Nice delivery that would be great with an ABV of 46%. This Spirit truly deserves that. I find Malt, Oak, Raisins, Nuts, Buttered Croissant, light Vanilla, Dried Herbs, Pepper, Ginger, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Licorice, Demerara Sugar, Bitter Citrus, Rum, Toffee and Cocoa Powder. And all of it coated with some Sherry and a light BBQ Smoke.
Brother in Law Jan in front of the Cosy VC!
Finish: Quite Long, Dry and Bitter Sweet with light BBQ Smoke, Charred Wood, Sweet Barley, Bitter Orange, Leather, Wet Earth, Oak, Fresh Ginger, Pepper and light Mineral tones.
The Boby Mill
I added a few drops of Water and you will get more Malt, Brine, Pina Colada and Charred New Oak on the Nose. On the Palate, Smoke and Spices tend to slightly dominate. Better sip it neat!
General Remarks: The Benromach Distillery is located in Forres (Morayshire) and was founded in 1898 by the Benromach Distillery Company. Benromach was mothballed from 1931-1937 and from 1983-1993. In 1993, Benromach was bought by Independent Bottler Gordon & MacPhail from United Distillers and since 1998 the Distillery is up and running again. The Benromach 10 Years was released in 2009 and is part of the Core Range. It matured in a hand-selected mix of Ex-Bourbon Casks (80%) and Ex-Sherry Casks (20%) before being finished for 1 year in First Fill Ex-Oloroso Casks. On average, it costs around 50 US Dollars.
The Stills at Benromach!
Drinking Experience Neat: Very Nice. This is great Value for Money!
Conclusion: When nosing and tasting this Benromach I wondered why on earth lightly peated Malted Barley basically disappeared from Speyside. Based on this Benromach, the combination of Speyside Spirit, Mixed Casks and lightly Peated Barley seems to work out quite nicely. It's great that Gordon and MacPhail decided to bring back the past. The Benromach 10 Years I'm tasting today is not a perfect whisky. In my opinion it deserves an ABV of 46% and a couple of extra years in the Cask. But it's a great standard Single Malt nevertheless and it's got an excellent Price/Quality ratio. It's a great day-to-day Whisky and I can't find any reason why you should not have this Benromach in your Whisky Cabinet. I fully recommend it.
Types of Casks Used!
Some Data: The name Benromach means Shaggy Mountain. The Distillery is located on the Eastern outskirts of Forres, just off the A 96 from Inverness to Aberdeen. Almost all Spirit is sold as Single Malt. Only a minor portion is used in the Gordon and MacPhail Blends. It's the smallest working Distillery in Speyside and possesses 1 Semi-Lauter Mash Tun, 4 Wooden Wash Backs (Larch) and 1 Pair of Stills. In 2013 their total production capacity amounted to 500.000 litres. Only about 25% of that capacity is used however as the owners want to build up Market Share first. But as of 2014, production will be doubled and a couple of new Warehouses will be constructed.
There's no Whisky without Water!
The water for the distillery is sourced from the Chapleton Spring. The Malt from Benromach is usually lightly peated and matures in a mixture of Ex-Bourbon and Ex-Sherry Casks. From May to September, the Benromach Distillery opens from Monday to Saturday from 9.30 to 17.00 hours and from June to August also on Sundays from 12.00 to 16.00 hours. From October to April it only opens from Monday to Friday from 10.00 to 14.00 hours. The Standard Tour costs 3,5 Pounds. The cosy Visitor Centre was opened in 1999 and you can watch a video telling the story of Benromach.
A selection of Casks in the Warehouse!
We visited Benromach on a very rainy Wednesday May 21, 2014. We were early and were the only visitors at that time. So we got ourselves a very nice and informative private tour with a knowledgeable male guide. At Benromach it feels like time stopped in the 1960's. The owners want to keep it that way and I'm not complaining! After the tour we enjoyed 4 drams, the Traditional, the 10 Years, the Organic and the Peatsmoke. Benromach is well worth a visit when you're staying around Elgin. Talking about Elgin, don't forget to visit the local pub called The Granary for excellent Food and Beer!
A Well Deserved Dram after the Private Tour!
Jan van den Ende October 25, 2014