Showing posts with label Benromach 15. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Benromach 15. Show all posts

Benromach 15 Years

Diet Christmas-Cake”

Whisky Review # 964

Country: Scotland

Region: Speyside
Brand: Benromach
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Age: 15 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 43%
Maturation: Mix of Ex-Bourbon and Ex-Sherry Casks with Oloroso Finish
Chill Filtration: Yes
Sample provided by Jan from the Netherlands. Many thanks!
Price Range: US$ 70-100 (September 2022)
Price/Quality Ratio: 😐 Okay at around US$ 70. I would not pay more though.
Buying Advice: 😐 It's okay I guess but too Thin for me. I prefer the 10 Years.


Amber with hues of Orange and Brown (Natural Colour)


Medium-Sweet and slightly on the Thin side. This expression would benefit from an ABV of 46%. The Sherry influence is noticeable. The Alcohol is not totally integrated and I also get a bit of Sulphur & Glue. Nothing serious though. Lightly peated Diet Christmas pudding sums it up nicely.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Butter Biscuits, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Heather-Honey, Grass and Straw, Wax, Christmas Cake with Nuts and Dried Fruit like Apricots, Apples, Plums, Dates, Sultanas and Candied Orange and Lemon, Polished Leather, Dusty Oak, Milk Chocolate, Dried & Fresh Herbs, Cinnamon and Ginger.
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Toffee, Smoke, Earthy Peat, Cigar Ashes, Rubber, Petrol Station, Tobacco, Sulphur, Soot, Glue, Resin, Cooked Vegetables, Wet Rocks, Grapefruit, Artificially-Flavoured Banana Candies, Curry-Chicken, Espresso, Pepper, Nutmeg, Cloves and Cardamom. A hint of Sweaty Feet.


Again a little on the Thin side. A mix of Sweet, Bitter, Sour and Salty notes.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Barley, Buttered Toast, Salted Caramel, Heather-Honey, Christmas Cake w/ Walnuts and Dried Fruit like Sultanas, Raisins, Apricots, Plums, Apples & Candied Orange, Lemon and Grapefruit, light Smoke, Earthy Peat, Cigar Ashes, Soot, Grass & Straw, Polished Leather, Tobacco, Dusty Oak, Pepper, Ginger, Aniseed & Menthol.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Toffee, Resin, Wax, Mandarins, Dark Berries, Wet Rocks, Cooked Vegetables, Strong Espresso, Dark Chocolate, Herbs, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Licorice and Chicken Broth.


Medium-Long, Bitter-Sweet and Medium-Dry with some Sour and Salty notes that provide balance. A slightly Thin mouthfeel. The Alcohol remains noticeable. There is a slight Artificial feel to this BenRomach. I find Toasted Barley, Heather-Honey, Vanilla, Salted Caramel, Resin, Grass and Straw, Dried and Fresh Herbs, Dusty Oak, Dark Chocolate, light Smoke, Earthy Peat (Forest Floor), Cigar Ashes, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Sultanas & Plums, Orange, Grapefruit, Polished Leather, Tobacco, Wet Rocks, Black Tea, Pepper, Ginger, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Menthol and hints of Iron and Chicken Broth.

Drinking Advice:

Added Water does not improve this BenRomach.

Rating: 83.5 - Stars on a 1-10 scale: 7 (*******)

Nose: 21 - Taste: 21 - Finish: 20.5  - Overall: 21

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

A few of my loyal readers have pointed out that every once in a while my final Rating note does not seem to be totally in line with the written text. I recognize that. When I started this Whisky Blog back in 2011, I was not at all experienced in tasting and scoring Single Malts & Blends. Looking back I realize that during the early years I probably scored the good Whiskies too low and the not so good Whiskies too high. Ever since the beginning I try to remain consequent in my rating, always comparing the outcome to the rating of comparable whiskies in terms of quality and taste and adjusting the final rating if necessary. This might lead to the discrepancy I mentioned before. It would have been much easier if I would have chosen a simple 1-10 rating since the beginning but after having reviewed 950 whiskies it would not be wise to change the system now. I will however from now on add stars on the 1-10 scale so you will have a better idea of what I thought of the whisky reviewed. And I'm planning to only use the 1-10 scale as of January 1, 2023. Please feel free to comment!

Drinking Experience Neat
: Good

The Old Packaging

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 current year production is around 400.000 litres. The new core range includes, since 2020, the 10, 15, 21,40 Years & the 2009 Cask Strength. We visited the distillery in May 2014 on a very rainy day and enjoyed a great private tour and tasting. It's certainly worth a visit!

The 15 Years matured for 9 years in a mix of First-Fill Ex-Bourbon casks (80%) and Re-Fill Ex-Sherry casks (20%). Both components were subsequently married and matured for another 6 years in First-Fill Oloroso Sherry casks.

I like this distillery and their 10 Years in particular and in general can appreciate their expressions. But this 15 Y does not really work for me. It's okay I guess but it's too Thin and it lacks emotion and direction. It should have been bottled at 46%. As it is, it's a bit dreary just like the weather on the occasion of our visit in 2014. Not my favourite BenRomach. 

Cheers 🥃

Jan van den Ende                                                                  September 29, 2022

Pictures taken during our visit in May 2014