Benromach have always sought to produce a Speyside whisky that’s in keeping with the true historic way of making whisky in the region.
As a result, their whiskies are all non chill filtered and colouring free; and, unusually for Speyside, their whiskies are made with a lightly peated barley since historically the distilleries of the region used peat in the drying process as it’s so readily available in Scotland.
Tonight we celebrate the release of a 15 year old into their fixed line up! The distillery have kindly sent out a pair of samples: the entry-level 10 year old, and the brand new 15.
The 10 Year Old
Nose: Lots of fresh Bourbon notes to start: vanilla custard, varnish, cinnamon and spicy ginger. Fragrant spices: cardamom and turmeric stirred into golden syrup. Chocolatey sherry notes once it’s had a bit of time to breathe… There’s a wood-smoked honeycomb thing going on too, becoming salty and mineral-rich.
Palate: Definitely get some smoke on the palate! Builds slowly among those rich, malt caramel notes. Little bit of hard orange-flavoured candy in there too with caramel wafer and more ginger spice.
Finish: Spicy oak develops through the sweet smoke with lots of black pepper and dark cocoa at the end.
Lovely solid dram this, really rich and well-rounded with plenty going on. All you want from a Speyside, plus a bit extra on top.
You can pick this up online for a mere £35 – absolute bargain!
The 15 Year Old
Nose: Opens with wood smoke, some ester-rich pear, and a heap of sea salt! Wax pastels and acrylic paints. Salty peat smoke and chocolate covered raisins.
Palate: A spoonful of Muscavado sugar mixed with dark rum, cinnamon and ginger. Progresses to sticky sultanas, banana bread, malt loaf and a little woodsmoke kiss on the tail. Bitter peppermint and dark chocolate. Like a fancier version of Viennetta ice cream.
Finish: Lovely dry chocolatey ashiness on the finish of the 15 year old.
A much more refined character than the 10 year old – more pronounced chocolatey sherry character and a drying oakiness. This is absolutely lovely and definitely on my shopping list.
A bit more expensive, the 15 year old goes for about £50 online.
All In All
This is a really solid pair of drams. I’m not very familiar with Benromach whisky but I’ll be endeavouring to try a lot more of it!