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It's the final weekend of my home vacation, so I thought I'd go through some samples and do some comparisons. First off, we have two Benromachs. This distillery (founded in 1898) is currently owned by independent bottler Gordon & MacPhail, who purchased it in 1993 after it had been closed and dismantled ten years earlier by UDV. It is a very small distillery, proudly making Speyside whisky the old fashioned, handcrafted way, in small batches and using peat.
The 10 Year Old is a combination of 80% bourbon barrels and 20% sherry hogsheads, which in the final year is matured in first-fill oloroso casks. Thanks go to Igor Kossov for this sample.
The colour is a light gold. On the nose, quite malty and fruity, with kiwi, green apple and dried cranberry. Medium-dark chocolate. Very slight hint of peat winding its way through - but the barley sugar is predominant. Allspice and nutmeg. Water just generally dilutes things. Lovely and gentle but not unlike many decent 10 year old malts out there.
On the palate the vanilla is revealed, and a bit more peat. Slightly bitter, which is odd. I get a little bit more sherry influence here. Not quite as delicate as the nose; adding water increases the spice.
The finish is spicy, mouthwatering and brings back those green apples. This is a fine introduction to what is a welcome new(ish) addition to Speyside. The peat really works in providing a layer of interest atop the other notes. Not hugely distinctive but a lovely dram nevertheless.