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!
I'll just add my voice to the choir of praise in here. I really, really liked the Ben 10 @ 43%. I believe I rated it an 88/100 or 89/100. And seeing as I'm a big fan of higher strength offerings, I'd wager I would score this one at least a 90/100. Benromach is truly unique, as far as I'm concerned, and they're producing top quality juice. If I see some more at my local Ministry of Spirits commissary, I will purchase with extreme prejudice. Double-plus good.