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Benromach 10 Year Old

A Pleasant Surprise

9 2188

@OdysseusUnboundReview by @OdysseusUnbound

5th Jul 2017

2

  • Nose
    22
  • Taste
    23
  • Finish
    21
  • Balance
    22
  • Overall
    88

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

This is an abridged version of a review I posted on my blog today

Benromach's website refers to their 10 Year Old Single Malt as a "classic pre-1960s Speyside". Now I don't know what this means exactly, since I was born at the tail-end of the 1970s and my financial portfolio does not permit me to purchase bottles from that era. I'll take them at their word. One of the unique features of Benromach is that they use a dunnage warehouse. A dunnage warehouse uses stone walls, an earthen floor, is not climate controled and allows the seasonal variations to affect the casks and the spirit contained therein. Does this impart a different flavour and character than warehousing in a large, climate-controlled industrial warehouse? I have no idea. But this whisky is really, really good. And at just under $60 CAD, it's by far the best value-for-money whisky I've ever had. I wouldn't bat an eye if this malt was priced $20 higher. I'd be sad, but I'd still buy it.

Tasting notes

  • Nose (undiluted): demerara sugar, malt (barley), peat smoke, red fruit (raspberries), green apples, herbal notes in the background.
  • Palate (undiluted): medium bodied and creamy, sweet vanilla, malt (barley), raspberries, biscuits (tea biscuits or grosses galettes, if you're French-Canadian), mild sherry note, charred oak, peat smoke
  • Finish: medium length, fruitiness returning, peat smoke, biscuits, very moreish

Adding water really opened up this whisky. It is really good neat. It is incredible with a small splash of water (1/2 a teaspoon with 1 1/2 to 2 oz of whisky). The nose becomes much fruitier and more focused. Grilled pineapple appears on the nose right after the raspberries. The vague "herbal note" on the nose becomes much more akin to cardamom. The taste becomes fruitier and "clearer" as well. You don't really lose any of the nice creaminess of the body, and the fruit becomes evident. I usually notice sherried whiskies carry dates, figs or raisins on the palate. Not so with Benromach. The fruit is brighter and more vibrant. The maturation is 80% first-fill bourbon barrels and only 20% ex-sherry casks so this isn't a sherry-bomb by any means. However, the combination works brilliantly. This may be the best whisky bang for your buck I've ever encountered.

My only gripe, and it is an admittedly minor one, is that I'd like this malt at a slightly higher strength. The finish is just a bit shorter than I'd like. Benromach does indeed make a 10 year old at 100 proof (50% ABV) that I'd love to try, but I think the "standard" would benefit from being bottled at 46%. That said, this is a great malt and well worth the sixty bucks, here in the most expensive whisky jurisdiction in the known universe. Highly recommended.

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21 comments

@MadSingleMalt
MadSingleMalt commented

@OdysseusUnbound , whenever I see one of your "short version" reviews up here, I go straight to your blog to read the long-form fun version. Always good stuff. "Much like Pam Beesly"—ha!

But note that the 100 Proof version is 57% ABV, not 50%. Its called "100 Proof" in the UK, where it uses the UK proof system. On this side of the Atlantic, it's called "Imperial Proof" and is still 57%

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

I like your review. I also like this whisky. And I can attest it tastes better in the glass than it smells on the pavement of a friend's house where my first bottle ended up (see my review).

I agree it would be nice at 6% but to be fair it is a great whisky at 43%, and something to reach for when I don't want complete sensory overload.

The 100 Proof (called Imperial Proof in the US) is fantastic, but priced a little higher at the LCBO than I would like to pay for a 10 YO non-CS ($117), especially when available for $89.00 in Nova Scotia.

Luckily I have a spare, and would very much appreciate an excuse to open it and do a H2H. Perhaps if an educator were to visit Toronto...

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

@OdysseusUnbound, lovely review. Thanks.

That Benromach 10 100 proof is at the British Imperial 100 proof, or a tad over 57% ABV.

One highly questionable statement is about the most expensive whisky-buying jurisdiction in the world. I think that Ontario might have to go 15 rounds with Australia to determine the "champion" in that category.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

@Victor I'll see your Australia and raise you a British Columbia. The Benromach 10 is $104.64 Cdn here. That's $90.99 plus 15% tax. They had the Tamdhu 10 on sale here last month for $80 plus tax down from $90 plus tax. This month it is up to $95 plus 15%tax. I think we can claim the dubious honour of being the most expensive liquor jurisdiction on the planet. Lately I have been getting most of my whisky from Alberta or Oregon where I have a very helpful sister-in-law.

@OdysseusUnbound I agree with every word of your review...except the expensive bit. See above ;-)

Cheers.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

Thanks for the corrections all. I'll update my blog. I'm willing to see a H2H between Ontario and Australia...but in fairness, Australia is farther from Scotland than Ontario, so the shipping costs are higher. If Benromach 100 Proof is $89 in NS, I may have to look for it when I'm there in early August.

about one year ago 0

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@BlueNote Is that price for the 10 100 proof? Tamdhu 10 is $90....and Benromach 100 proof, well, just have a look

about one year ago 0

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@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@MadSingleMalt Thanks for the blog hit. That "views" counter makes me happier than something as trivial as a whisky blog should. But then, most people I know irl don't care a whit about scotch, bourbon or Canadian whisky. "It all tastes the same" they say. HERESY!!!!! rage

about one year ago 0

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

@OdysseusUnbound 'Fraid not. That's for the 43% one you reviewed. The provincial government here needs all the money it can squeeze out of us for building dams on the Columbia River and bridges over the Fraser River. They need to start taxing the hell out of weed and give us poor maltheads a break.

about one year ago 2Who liked this?

@MadSingleMalt
MadSingleMalt commented

@OdysseusUnbound , are cheapo scotch blends also super expensive in Australia? (Or how about Scottish shortbread? relaxed )

If not, then shipping costs are not the culprit.

about one year ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

If you are talking the prices of malt whisky in Australia, then you need to include that the domestic prices for malts made at the 12+ Australian malt distilleries are quite expensive, never mind the prices for imported whiskies.

Canada at least allows mass market Canadian whiskies to be sold at prices most Canadian citizens can afford to pay.

about one year ago 2Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@Victor But who in their right mind wants to drink "mass market" Canadian whisky (e.g. Wiser's Deluxe or Special Blend, Canadian Club) ? stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye

about one year ago 0

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@MadSingleMalt Yup. Teacher's is $42 AUD while it is $26 CAD and both curencies are about equivalent.

about one year ago 0

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

@OdysseusUnbound Re: mass market Canadian swill; you've got a point there my friend. Any higher end Canadian is in the same price league as Scotch single malt.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

@BlueNote, @OdysseusUnbound, ah, but Australian malts typically cost twice the price of high end Canadian products. Do I know an 'average' domestic Australian malt price? No, but I will bet that it is more than $ 100 AUD, a price extremely rare for any Canadian whisky.

Hopefully we will get some Aussies into this conversation when they wake up in 3 or 4 hours.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

@Victor The Land Down Under, where women glow and men plunder. Where beer does flow and men chunder. (Apologies to Men at Work).

My Australian cousins will be up soon and tucking into some Vegemite on toast and a couple of tubes of Foster's for breakfast.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

@Nozinan That's what the English/Scottish cousins have for breakfast (if they're not having eggs, bacon, sausages, mushrooms, baked beans, tomatoes, haggis and black pudding).

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

When I was in England, marmite came with all of the above (except the whisky)

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

@MadSingleMalt @Nozinan I'm trying to think of a good breakfast whisky. Something light, like An'Cnoc 12. Or maybe just a can or two of Lancaster Bomber Ale to start the day. Probably best to stick to a good, stiff pot of Yorkshire Gold tea.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@BlueNote Dalwhinnie 15 is a nice breakfast whisky. Or Irish breakfast tea with Irish whiskey. Best use I've found for Jameson or Bushmills. stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

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