Benromach is a Speyside distillery founded by Duncan McCallum and F.W. Brickman in 1898 and currently owned and run by Gordon and Macphail who took over the distillery in 1993. Following a painstaking restoration, it was re-opened by HRH Prince Charles in 1998.
Since then sales of the classic Speyside malt have grown dramatically and Benromach is now exported to 42 countries around the world.
In 2013 a third distiller was recruited and additional warehouses were added to allow production to be expanded.
April 2014 saw a new look for the flagship Benromach 10 Years Old, reflecting its pre-1960s character and the fact that each cask is hand-filled, hand-weighed and hand-stamped.
On the night the malts sampled were:-
- Benromach 10 Year Old
- Benromach 100° Proof
- Benromach Organic
- Benromach Peat Smoke
If you want to catch up on what all the tasters had to say (and there was quite a few of them!) you can view the tweets by searching for the hash tag #BenromachTT on Twitter.
So, what did I think?
Here are my tasting notes … and the one which was my favourite on the night!
Tasting Notes – Benromach 10 Year Old ( 43% )
A pale amber colour for this 10YO – 80% Bourbon barrels, 20% Sherry hogshead. Final year in first fill Oloroso casks.
Nose: Heathery, slightly smokey, peaty with whiffs of sweetness and a lovely caramel. Giving way to stewed fruits, sultanas and vanilla and finally getting basil. A joy to nose!
Palate: Sweet xmas cake mixture, grapefruit and a whiff of smoke pushing thru the sherriness. Quite a raw beast this one …
Finish: Very fiery and peppery with a dry tanin aftertaste – long!
Overall: “Fiesty one you are!” comes to mind with the 10YO. A very drinkable dram.
Tasting Notes – Benromach 100° Proof ( 57% )
This whisky is rich sherry colour and has been bottled without chillfiltering.
Named after the old Imperial measure which followed a tradition established when skeptical sailors, who wanted to ensure their rum rations had not been watered down mixed spirit with gunpowder. If the mixture ignited, its strength was “proved”!
Nose: Sweet sherry frutiness. Apples and a sweet sugary something … rum! Dark chocolate and demerara for sure in there. Is this a wolf in sheeps clothing?
Palate: WoW! That tongue texture of pure spirit! Rich, sweet rich fruit cake, sherry and spiciness.
Finish: Very smooth finish, lovely muted pepperyness peat and smokiness blends together well.
Overall: In spite of it’s 57% ABV, this is a lovely dram to nose, sip and savour. Excellent dramming to be had here. Most people on the night panged for a roaring open fire to sip this by!
Tasting Notes – Benromach Organic ( 43% )
Matured in virgin oak casks giving this dram a pale amber colour.
Certified Organic from start to finish and meeting rigorous UK Soil Association standards for growing the ingredients, distillation, maturation and bottling. Unique on launch in 2006, it is still very rare today.
Nose: Strongly coconut with apples and oranges. Very fresh and ‘new’. There’s hints of chinese tea in there as well.
Palate: Sugary pears, pineapple and coconut, sherbert sweetness with fruity pleasures – so different from the 100!
Finish: A short finish – sweet to the end – maybe a slight hint of grapefruit. It gets quite zingy on the tongue though – almost citric acidy.
Overall: The freshness of the virgin oak casks gives this dram a vitality and youthfullness that’s unique. Soft, fruity flavours abound giving this malt a lightness that few other drams can achieve.
Tasting Notes – Benromach Peat Smoke ( 46% )
Matured in first fill oak Bourbon barrels and a pale straw like colour. The finest Scottish barley is malted with high levels of peat smoke at 67ppm (the phenol level.)
Nose: Smell that peat – heaven! Rich peat topped with smokiness and sea spray – take me to the smokery! Interstingly theres a hint of olives in there as well.
Palate: Lovely smooth, earthy peat, BBQ & smoke with a little smooth citrus.
Finish: Peppery, smokey finish coupled with smooth fruit.
Overall: Not as overpowering as you’d think in the peat department. Just very nicely done! A lovely dram.
My Favourite On The Night
My Favourite On The Night: Benromach 100 Proof – just an awesome dram – amazingly low price point as well!
It was Very closely followed by the Peat Smoke. I love a peat dram so it was a slightly painful decision to put the 100 before it but it just goes to show how good the 100 is!
Four different drams, four completely different tastes. An amazing feat and one which should ensure that there’s a Benromach to suit everyones palate!
And of course, the team at Benromach, for sending the samples and without whom!
My fellow Tweeters were:-
@TheWhiskyWire @WhiskyWardrobe @WhiskySpeller @LaCaveDeCobalt @WhiskyFriends @MrSingleMalt @wernerswhisky @MashtunandMeow @Sherry_Ben @WhiskyCorner @raithrover @JohnnieStumbler @whiskyrepublic @julie_gwc @GeorgeHHutton @AlpacaJo @whiskytube @warburton81 @TheWhiskyKiwi @BeersIveKnown @annawizauk @Jamie_Rowley @dvdbloke @mynameisgone @Smokiechops @sjjgo @Andrew1McCallum @cenbons @msykesjones
Benromach is available to buy from these Whisky Merchants:-