It was recently purchased by one of our Whisky Ladies during her trip to Scotland. She shared how many a dram was sampled before finally settling on this one as THE whisky she wanted to bring back from her trip for the Whisky Ladies in Mumbai.
What did the Whisky Ladies find?
Nose – Sweetly smoky – we’ve found our happy place, clear sherry with hickory wood… like the embers of a campfire in the morning, then bananas, stewed fruits
Palate – Cherry liquor, the peat is back with spice, salty chocolate fudge, vanilla, liquorice, nicely complex with the different elements swirling about with one sip bringing out more of the creamy fudge and another the cherry berry quality then the next sip the sweet spices and another the peat – what a treat!
Finish – A drizzle of honey bacon with dry spices
What did the ladies think?
“Quite a coooool whisky”
“Something new in every sip!”
“The whisky you really want to spend an evening with…”
I had recently revisited several rather fine Benromach whiskies at Whisky Live in Singapore and initially was puzzled by all the peat thinking this was the classic 10 year. When discovered it was the 100° Proof, all became clear we were dealing with quite a different avatar!
Quite a few of our Whisky Ladies were off traversing the globe in October and November. Which meant our American Adventures in October was sparsely attended and our November session felt like long lost friends getting together for a much overdue reunion!
Thanks to one whisky lady’s ‘prezzies’ from Canada was an opportunity to compare the difference between tasting whisky in the industry standard Glencairn glass vs the novel engineered Norlan glass.
It also meant we had an interesting assortment for our ‘contributors choice’ evening… where the only planning that went into deciding which whisky to sample was someone putting up their hand going “Me! Me! I have something to share!”
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.
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.
80% Bourbon barrels, 20% Sherry hogshead. Final year in first fill Oloroso casks
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.
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.