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Benromach 10 Year Old 100 Proof

Average score from 4 reviews and 9 ratings 92

Benromach 10 Year Old 100 Proof

Product details

  • Brand: Benromach
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 57.0%
  • Age: 10 year old

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@Pierre_W
Benromach 10 Year Old 100 Proof

Benromach 10 years old 100 Proof was first released in 2014 and is part of the distillery's core range. Its maturation regime is as follows: 80% in ex-bourbon barrels and 20% in ex-sherry hogsheads, with the last year getting married in first-fill Oloroso sherry casks. My bottle is dated 30 September 2014.

The nose is rich and lush and begins with vanilla and a thick layer of dark fruits: overripe plums, oranges and cherries, together with notes of marzipan. Then notes of wax and leather come to the fore, followed by hints of coffee and cinnamon. Absolutely gorgeous!

The palate is medium-bodied and spicy. The first flavour I get is subtle smoke, then more vanilla and oranges, followed by balsamic vinegar and a touch of grass. Cinnamon and caramel flavours develop later on.

The finish is long and warming, rather dry and dusty. Light sherry notes are accompanied by oranges and a hint of chocolate.

I am truly astonished! Given the tender age of 10 years I was not prepared for the multifaceted and intricate flavour profile of this whisky. This is interesting and delicious at the same time, and in a blind tasting I would have guessed this at between 15 and 20 years of age. One of my highlights this year and a permanent fixture of my whisky cabinet with immediate effect!

@Victor THAT DOES IT! Next time you're here I am opening a bottle of the Ben 10/100. Hopefully I will have either some of my current bottle of standard Ben 10 for you to compare to (maybe I'll pour off a sample just in case) or another bottle (my BIL bought one but he tasted from mine and it's not his style).

@Nozinan It's a great bang for the buck, even here in BC.

@talexander

Since I did some Macallans yesterday, and a BenRiach earlier today, I thought I'd search out some more Speysiders and found a few Benromachs. I reviewed the standard 10 year old before (which I have a bit left of), but I have two higher strength ones (both also 10 years old) to examine. First is the Benromach 100 Proof, whose ABV goes by the definition of British proof (57%) rather than the US definition (50%). Thank you to Richard Culver for this sample.

The colour is a medium-dark gold. Very complex on the nose, with big caramel and vanilla with bright herbal peat woven throughout. Baked apples, cloves, cinnamon and dark chocolate. Buttery oak. Sultana raisins. Sweet cereal notes. Minty, but not overwhelmingly so. A drop of water makes it even more herbal and peaty. The interplay between peat, malt and wood is perfectly harmonious.

Those notes carry through on the palate, with the addition of chili spice, orange pith and blackberry. The thick mouthfeel carries that peppery peat smoke through with dark caramel. Surprisingly salty, but in a good way. Water brings every element up a notch - fascinating. Constantly developing in complexity, with each note layering over the other.

The finish is very oaky, with spice, bovril and creamy milk chocolate. I've had this dram before, and I think it could be the best Benromach I have ever had - the perfect combination of the sweet, fruity Speyside style with old-fashioned peat smoke. Add in the thick, creamy mouthfeel and you have a whisky that seems to harken back to bygone times. Almost three years ago, I gave the standard Benromach 10 an 84; tasting them now side-by-side, the difference is huge. The standard is very nice and approachable, with a nice kick in the spice and peat, but the 100 Proof just completely overtakes it. Amazing.

@Ol_Jas Yep, I've never heard a southern rock or hip hop artist brag about is 50% jug of moonshine. But to quote Yelawolf,

'Motormouth, make a wave, yeah, Roll Tide You're playin' golf in lightning? So am I Dressed in a tin man suit Drinkin' a tin can too, that is 110 proof.'

It is cooler.

@casualtorture the UK still uses Navy proof as a term for the 57% ABV and @talexander is spot on with his explanation. Pussers sell a rum at that 54.5%ABV referred to as Gunpowder proof and Woods 100 Navy rum is readily available in U.K., both claim a long history of same recipe and blended from different Distillers Pussers is West Indies and Woods Guyana. Neither have a lot of age to them but they deliver plenty of flavour I find a lot of liquorice especially on the Woods with usual sweetness associated with rum.

Anywhere around the 55% ABV hits the mark with the gunpowder test but 57 is the magic number for the British Navy Ration as it is "100 per cent proof" the rum is not diluted. The rum ration was removed in the 1970's by the Navy but the terminology is still popular.

@Nozinan

In February 2015 I read a “game-changing” review by @MaltActivist. I had tried the standard Benromach 10 a couple of years earlier (prior to the rebranding) and it was good, especially with milk chocolate. But the way he described this whisky it became a must have for me. Here are links to his review and video:

connosr.com/reviews/benromach/… maltactivist.com/benromach-10-100-proof/

Just over a year after I read the review, my brother told me he would be stopping in London for a few days with his family (2 adults….2280 ccs of spirit!) in March and would be willing to bring over anything that I might want to order that I couldn’t get here. I was shocked to find this available AND reasonably priced. Although it came into my possession in March it took all the willpower I could muster to wait another 2 months and open this bottle at the Ontario Summit. I found it quite enjoyable but it was in the context of 39 other spirits I tried that day. This is my first chance to get back to it. The bottle has been open 4 days, gassed after first use, and is reviewed in my usual manner, first neat, then with a few drops of water (and then more water) and a chance to open up.


Nose :

Neat – initially, as was my experience at the Ontario Summit, the nose appeared a bit muted. But left covered for 20 minutes it develops a beautiful complex, sweet nose. I get leather, white wine, dark fruits (prunes), granny smith apple. In the background a hint of chocolate, some tobacco (unlit). Beautiful nose! 24/25

With water- I get a hint of menthol. The fruitiness of the nose diminishes a little. Adding a bit more I get back some of the original nose. I like it better neat (22-23/25)

Taste:

Neat – Rich, bicuity, sherry, chocolate, a little spirit. Very pleasant. 23/25

With water – Becomes quite spirity, also spicy. Some of the flavours are hard to find. Adding a bit more water brings out a mintiness, and a bit of citrus.

Finish – long, dry. Leather, hint of cocoa 22/25. With water, the bitterness lasts into the finish with a citrus-pithy quality (20/25)

Balance – Neat this is a beautifully balanced whisky, complex, with complementary flavours and aromas 23/25. With water, I just didn’t enjoy it as much (20/25).

The longer I let it sit after the second addition of water, the more it came closer to its flavour profile neat but it never regained the full richness.

The Modified Ashok Manoeuvre (only after adding water) enriched the nose and lifted the sherry flavours back towards the forefront of the palate.

Trader Joe’s milk chocolate did not impact on the undiluted whisky, but did compliment it after water was added. I tried it with TJ’s 85% dark chocolate only after adding water and warming and it worked very well.

Score: Neat 92/100 With water: 85-86/100


@MaltActivist wrote that whiskies like this are the reason he does what he does. I concur with his opinion. This is Sherry cask-matured Scotch single malt as it should be tasted.

I’m glad most of the bottle survived the summit. I think I will need to experiment to find out how much water this expression can handle. I usually like to add at least a drop to my high proof malts. My suspicion is it will either need a little more than I'm used to(like Ralfy), or simply a single drop or two.

Or maybe I'll discover I like it best neat, which would be just fine as well.

@Robert99 This particular bottle came from Master of Malt shipped to London UK and then brought over by my brother. There have been sightings of this in Calgary and Halifax.

I liked the palate but I admit that I sometimes can pick out different flavours more easily in the aroma. So there may have been leather and tobacco on the taste but maybe I didn't identify it as clearly.

I did find as time went on that the whisky improved in the glass, even with water, but it was like a different whisky an hour after I posted the review. Much more mint and menthol, with sherry in the background if I recall correctly.

I'll definitely have to come back to this. And I'll be sure to save some for the next time you're in Toronto (or I'm in Montreal...).

@Nozinan Now I remember that you mentionned that bottle coming from the UK. I hope you will forgive me for asking you again, I have a tendancy to forget when I sample over 40 whisky... What was I saying? Ahhhh... Well.... Oh yes, My tendancy to forget... Do not worry, it was only temporarily: I will remember your kind offer.

More seriously, I really like the Benromach but unlike you, I think I would prefer it before it develops the menthol flavor. Anyway, our preferences about air could be the topic of a good discussion for an eventual tasting session.

Thanks for all the infos!

@MaltActivist

This whisky is the reason I take time out from my busy schedule and inflict slow damage to my liver. Just to let my whisky colleagues know that there are treasures out there simply waiting to be discovered.

I'll be honest. Benromach was not on my radar as a must-try. I was going to get there eventually but I was in no rush. But then Ralfy decided it would be a good idea to declare their 10 year old as his whisky of the year. While I usually scoff at such titles Ralfy is a dependable chap.

So I decided this was a good time as any to put his claim to the test. So while I was in the process of procuring said title holder I saw this particular expression sitting by the 10 year olds' side. Labelled as 100 proof it came in at 57% compared to the measly 43% that the standard 10 year old was bottled at.

What I love is that Benromach has decided to re-create the classic Speyside flavors of the 60s which means that there is a small amount of peat used in the barley (12ppm in the final product to be exact).

The spirit is a blend of 80% bourbon and 20% sherry hogshead married together for it's final year in first-fill Oloroso sherry casks. My sample is from a brand new bottle dated 25.09.2014

Nose: Crisp sherry. No off notes here. Green tobacco leaf. Chocolate. Oak. Dates. Dark fruits. Cinnamon. Some fudge. Dark currant jam. Strawberries. Red apple. Vanilla. Let it breathe and it becomes a little more savory. Fresh green peas. Hint of ginger. Gets dry over time. This such a beautiful nose. It's not overly complex. All the aromas are on point and beautifully represented. This is close to being perfect.

Palate: The tobacco is king here. Smoked oak. Some sherry. Touch bitter. But a manly bitter. Nothing off here.Chocolate. Cinnamon. Maple syrup. Christmas cake. Rum topf. Caramel. The Oloroso really comes into play here. Leads the way but never overpowers. Let's the spirit speak.

Finish: Long. Tobacco. Touch of mint. Oak.

This is an insanely beautiful whisky. Hats off to Benromach (and G&M for reviving it) for embracing traditionalism in favor of mass production and NAS profits. Truly a masterclass in elegance and a glimpse into the glorious past that is Speyside whisky.

@Nozinan, @Victor, I spoke with Chris at the Connecticut office for Benromach in North America yesterday. He assured me that the 10 100 proof will be arriving in North America soon. The reason for a delay is that the American 100 proof is different from the Scottish 100 proof. So it will be called the Benromach 10 Year Imperial Proof, or something like that, but it will have the same whisky inside. This said, will it? Not sure .. . different batch? I tend to think so. Oh well. Beggars cannot be choosers. Then again, for a hundred bucks or so I guess we will not be beggars!!!

@Cunundrum It will be interesting to see if there's any batch variance for the US market. I like how everyone has to modify everything for the US market. So what if it's called 100 Proof. Just because it's the Scottish proof system? Amuses me to no end.

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