In 1993 independent bottler Gordon & Macphail took over the terrains, buildings and installations of Benromach, renovated for four years to modernize it so that all production could be handled by just one man and in 2004 they bottled their first single malt. We’ll try a classic, their bestseller Benromach 10 Year Old. Pat offered me a sample from a bottling of 25th May 2017. It had been ten years since I last tried it, imagine that!
Wonderfully layered nose on autumn leaves, cocoa powder, toffee apples, kiwi peel, dry oak and soft woodsmoke. There is even a salty edge and some smoldering hearth. This is very good and fresh at the same time with a very fruit note. But after a few moments it turns really interesting. I get some crayons, grapefruit and… putty. But in the sense that it becomes added value.
It’s god a good body, bittersweet arrival with lots of fruit, but the smokiness that ensues is simply sublime. Reminds me even a bit of Springbank, no joke! Freshly cut garden herbs go hand in hand with honey and beeswax, while a mild bitter note of ashes puts everything in perspective. Very good.
The finish is medium long and harmonious, but the emphasis now is clearly on the sherry casks in the mix. Nice minerality at the death.
This remains one of the most all round entry level malts. Only 40 EUR, so a no brainer. Take it home and enjoy! Thx, Pat.
Of all the distilleries that produce a ten year old, only Springbank and Benromach produce a non peated, non cask strength ten year old this good, IMO. Nice review, Mark. I’d be a solid 88 on this one, but we all know by now that you tend to be a bit stingy with the marks.
@BlueNote Yeah, I usually add 3 or 4 points to Mark’s reviews, but he’s consistent so that’s what matters to me. Plus he’s got a far wider experience with malts than I do. Mark is probably the only person who has tasted most of the same Unobtainium Single Malts that Serge reviews on the regular.