Showing posts with label Benromach 21. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Benromach 21. Show all posts

Benromach 21 Years

"Thin Soldier”

Whisky Review # 1024

Country: Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
Region: Speyside
Brand: Benromach
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Age: 21 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 43%
Maturation: Mix of 1st-Fill Ex-Bourbon Casks and Sherry Casks
Chill Filtration: Yes
Average Price: US$ 120-140 (June 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: 😐 Okay I guess given the long maturation
Buying Advice: 👎 I think you're much better off with the 10 Years


Dark Golden/Amber (Natural Color)


Please don't nose in the middle of the glass right away. That way you avoid some initial wafts of Wood Polish & Sulphur. I wouldn't give it 21 years in a Blind Tasting as it presents itself lively and fresh. The maturation worked well with balanced Ex-Bourbon & Sherry influences. The Oak and Spices are certainly not overpowering and neither is the Smoke. The ABV is rather low and, as a consequence, the delivery is not as strong as it could and probably should have been.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Butter Biscuits, Vanilla, Yeast, Dried Fruit like Apples, Apricots, Figs, Dates & Plums, Red Berries & Cherries, Candied Orange & Lemon, Milk-Chocolate, Dusty "Dunnage" Charred Oak, Cinnamon, Ginger and Mint.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Honey, Salted Caramel, Toffee, Wax, Marzipan, Nougat, slightly Sour Grapefruit, Smoke, Earthy Peat, Wet Sand, Nutmeg, Cloves, Rum-spiced Tea, Licorice and very light hints of Varnish, Rubber, Sulphur, Raw Meat and Burnt green leaves.


The delivery is on the Thin side on account of the "low" ABV. Smoke and Peat are a bit more noticeable now but they remain in the background. The Palate presents some Sweet and Sour notes with a very light Bitterness for balance. Medium-Dry.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Yeast, Dried Fruit like Apple, Apricot, Raisins and Plums, Red Berries and Cherries, Orange, Grapefruit, Dusty Charred Oak, Nuts, Pepper, Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Menthol and Licorice.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Nougat, Marzipan, Lemon, Smoke, Earthy Peat, Soot, Dark Chocolate, Dark Espresso, Peanut Butter, Cloves, Tobacco, Leather & hints of Metal, Burnt Rubber and Raw Meat.


Medium-Long. Mostly Sweet and Sour notes. Medium Dry towards the end. It's a bit on the Thin side & there's also a slightly Burnt feel to it. I find Sweet Barley, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Yeast, Dried Fruit like Apple, Raisins, Apricots, Dates & Figs, Red Berries & Cherries, Nougat, Orange, Grapefruit, Smoke, Ashes, Dusty Earth, Dusty Charred Oak, Cinnamon, Ginger, Cloves, Pepper, Nutmeg, Licorice, Menthol, Rum-spiced Tea, Leather and Tobacco.

Drinking Advice:

Added Water kills this Benromach.

Rating: 7.5 (*******1/2)

Nose: 8 - Taste: 7.5 - Finish: 7

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

If the Final score is 8 or higher you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink.

Drinking Experience Neat: Good but Thin.


The Benromach Distillery is located in Forres (Morayshire) & 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 and MacPhail from United Distillers and since 1998 the Distillery is up and running again. The current year production is around 500.000 litres. The  core range includes the 10, 15, 21 and 40 Years and the Vintage 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!

I like this distillery and their 10 Years is one of my favorite to-go-to Malts. But this 21 Years is a bit of a missed chance I'm afraid. It's not a bad Whisky of course but if I would be Gordon or MacPhail I would want to make this their flagship Malt. So I would take even better first class casks & bottle it at a respectable ABV of between 46 and 48% without Chill-Filtration. I would want to create a Green Beret without any flaws and not a Thin Soldier with a few off-notes. As it is I think you can safely stay with the 10 Years for now.

Cheers 🥃

Jan van den Ende                                                                        June 13, 2024