Benromach 10 year 100° Proof 57%

What do you get when an independent bottler buys their own distillery? Apparently something quite impressive…

Our October 2015 whisky tastings reminded us to go slow, meander through the offerings to let each slowly unfold… we began with the light Aultmore 2000 (bottled by Gordon & MacPhail) and closed our evening with a special 10 year from Gordon & MacPhail’s distillery Benromach.

Benromach 10 year
Benromach 10 year 57% (100° proof)
  • Colour – Deep rich amber
  • Nose – Bang!! Baaaaacon! Salty bacon, life buoy soap, then with just a little time, the intensity of the bacon reduces with a waft of fruit, then fresh cut leaves. Was like flipping a book with the nose shifting quickly through different elements. Over time, a hint of spice emerges then mellows back to barbecue bacon – sweet cured meat
  • Palate – Kashmiri spicy but smooth, not oily, truly amazing with lots of character, a low viscosity, chewy dates, ripe berries, a sense of richness or ‘fullness’, creamy, warms into smoky raisins yum!
  • Finish – Very long and enjoyable spice, some smoke and a little dry ash with bitter almond
  • Water – Yes please! A few drops opens it up. Comments like “Fabulous!” “Absolutely fantastic with water!” It became even more rounded and did not lose its character at all.  Just a couple drops prompted even more bacon to emerge.

Impressions – Clearly mature and complex! A whisky you want to pour and have a long affair with…. This is to end your day. What is most remarkable is how it just kept evolving… Easily a whisky that you could stretch over a long leisurely conversation with a fellow whisky appreciator, interspersing new observations about the whisky with other engaging topics.

Speculation – One member’s immediate reaction was “Islay!” with its peated robust character. Bantered around the possibility of it being 16 years? Reminiscent of a Glendronach 21 Parliament… Thought the alcohol content likely higher than the previous two (Aultmore 46% & Hellyers 46.2%).

Unlike most of our sessions, we held back the whisky reveals until after we tasted all three whiskies….

The reveal – Only a 10 year from a distillery that once upon a time had somewhat indifferent offerings.  Since the Gordon & MacPhail took over, with renewed attention and care, they are now releasing some remarkably good whiskies.
  • Quote – “I can’t believe this is only 10 years!”

If you read the Benromach story… you come to understand that their interpretation of a classic Speyside is the 1960s version when light peat was part of a Speyside’s character.

Here’s what the Benromach folks say about their 100′ proof 10 year:

  • 80% Bourbon barrels, 20% Sherry hogshead. Final year in first fill Oloroso casks

Without water

  • Nose – It has an intense Sherry nose with heaps  of stewed apple, pear and delightful vanilla pod aromas… delicious toasted malt aromas develop and complement an underlying menthol edge.
  • Taste – There’s cracked black pepper with juicy fresh strawberry and raspberry… hints of orange peel and milk chocolate combine with a delicate smoky edge.

With water

  • Nose – It’s fabulous, with initial hints of beeswax polish and peat smoke… followed by sweeter aromas developing with ripe banana and kiwi bound together by honey.
  • Taste – Roll it around your palate and enjoy the sweet and salty effect with ripe banana and blackcurrant flavours. Notice the emerging creamy milk chocolate edge with a long rich finish of lingering subtle smokiness and bonfire embers.

Here’s what others say:

You can also find Whisky Lady in India on:

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