Benromach is a distillery that wants to take you back a stretch. Back before distilleries and whisky production became so automated, so dependent on technology. Eschewing computerized processes (do they allow pocket calculators?), this distillery looks to the early 20th century for guidance, when Speyside whiskies were made using peat smoke on site and everything was done by hand. In these days of spirit conglomerates, special attention is given to the artistry provided by the three distillers working at Benromach. It is a whisky that promotes the traditions of scotch production and promises to reward the patience needed.
Age: 10 Years
Maturation: 80% Bourbon barrels, 20% Sherry hogshead. Final year in first fill Oloroso casks.
Nose: Smoke, sausage
Palate: Sausage, smoke, tonic
Finish: Smoke, meat
Comments: Water can be fun to experiment with here but is not required.
Adam – I’m really surprised by the depth and breadth of character in this dram, which I am not used to finding in Speysides (outside of a robust Balvenie). Not sure I can tell any influence from the Sherry casks but that is okay. The usual thinness is lacking here and the robust flavors, if not legion, are appreciated. And hey! Only 10 years old. Definitely may need to explore this one’s older siblings.
Jenny – Before it was a flower that was still beautiful, but it was small and hiding its potential, and then the water makes it bloom, opening up in your mouth. I did lose some smoke when water was added.
Meghan – The nose is quite fun with a nice smoked sausage smell. It lingers a bit into the palate but not as much as I would like. There is an odd minerality to the palate before water; it is kind of like the sharpness that you sometimes get with plain sparkling mineral water- almost like tonic water. Water brought a bit of sweetness to the front of the palate. It also smoothed out the entire dram; not quite a bulldozer over the hills and valleys but a gentle smoothing like erosion from time.
Michael – I prefer it without water. I agree with water there is a greater balance between the smoke and the sugar, but I prefer when the smoke is more prominent. I do enjoy that nose a lot, the smoke and meat.