To be upfront, I am admittedly a huge Benromach fan. I am a huge fan of that old-world style. They are akin to a Springbank in Speyside clothing, if you will.
Nose: Right off the bat you get the sherry influence but it's equally very earthy with a touch of smoke mixed in. Saltiness, dusty tobacco, wood polish, cherries, green apples, golden raisins, chocolate-orange, apple cobbler, salt water taffee, nuttiness reminiscent of walnuts maybe...There's a lot to explore here.
Taste: More sweet earthiness. Very malty and rounded. Figs, chocolate, wood polish, heather, salty, leathery, portabella mushrooms, tea, golden raisins, a bit waxy, slightly meaty, a touch of vanilla.
Finish: Medium in length and dry...light billows of smoke, salt & pepper, wood polish, lots of leather, bitter wood, charred bbq ends.
The folks over at G&M really know what they are doing and it shows with their standard 10yr offering. It's approachable enough for the novice due to it's impeccable balance yet complex enough for the more discerning connoisseur. In my opinion, it's the most complex 10yr available slightly ahead of the mighty Springbank 10yr which is more spirit-driven. My only knock on it is that it is released at 43% abv rather than my desired 46%. I'd also venture to say that it's the best value on the market today. A wonderfully put together whisky that will always be a staple in my cabinet.