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Benromach 10 Year Old

Average score from 22 reviews and 35 ratings 86

Benromach 10 Year Old

Product details

  • Brand: Benromach
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 43.0%
  • Age: 10 year old

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Benromach 10 Year Old

When I first tried this I instantly fell in love. Something about the old-school style and combination of sherry, bourbon and some peat got my whisky juices flowing. I've since tried a few from the range and, while the peated expression (to my surprise) didn't quite get me going, I've really enjoyed the other offerings.

I opened this bottle in November last year, had a pour, decided I had too many open and that it probably needed a bit of air, so promptly popped the cork back and in the cupboard it remained until about a month ago. Review is neat and about 4/5's remain.

Nose - Malty leather (yeah, you know the stuff, right? ;) stale ale - like walking past a pub in times when pubs still had people in them, some dusty, musty spices -baking ginger, mild cinnamon and a hint of fennel, earthy dunnage notes, a fair hint of varnish/polish type aromas, cocktail cherries and musty sherry notes with a decent whack of peat smoke running through it all. So not much going on really ...

Taste - Leathery, peaty and sweet and sour arrival. Definitely ale like with some unusual, yet certainly 'Benromachy' musty notes - a bit like dark soy sauce on funky mushrooms. Some of that quite sharp varnish note hangs around, unfortunately, but it's not doing too much harm. Mouth-feel starts quite rich and waxy but tapers off and leaves a little watery. A gingery warmth comes on.

Finish - Medium with some pleasantly bitter tannins, and yet more of that leather. Perhaps a little dark chocolate, some tartness (sour cherry) and a little tang of peat.

Time opened has not helped this I feel. It seems to have lost a little cohesion and gone a little flabby - not what i would have expected but maybe there's a lesson to be learned there? Still very good whisky and I have to concur with the prevailing view that this is one of the best ten year olds out there and insanely good value in today's markets.

Maybe my expectations were a little high (this is my 4th bottle), maybe my tolerance for leathery funk is diminishing, and maybe time didnt help it but, I don't know, something just isn't grabbing me here like it has in the past. I think its the bitterness and spirity-ness on the palate combined with that watery-ness as it develops that puts my nose out a touch. Still, this bottle will be enjoyed and I would happily recommend this as one of the best value malts going.


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.

@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. stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye

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. wink


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.

@RianC yes, I definitely see where you are coming from on that! Good call.

Nice review of one of my favourites! I think I'd agree on pretty much everything you've wrote there. I find I get a kind of hoppy, ale flavour as well (which I also find in Talisker 10).


Benromach 10 years old was first released in 2009 and is part of the distillery’s core range. Its maturation regime is as follows: the first nine years 80% in ex-bourbon barrels and 20% in ex-sherry casks, the last year exclusively in ex-sherry casks. My review is based on a 20cl bottle from a taster pack that includes the regular 10-year old, “Organic” and “Peat Smoke”.

The nose is fruity with flavours of oranges and grapefruits taking centre stage. Then there are notes of leather, mint, chocolate, as well as a hint of lemons. Smoke is there too but rather subdued, campfire style. All in all this is a complex and multi- layered nose.

The palate is medium-bodied and quite sweet, more so than the nose: I got notes of oranges, apples and honey. There is more smoke now, and towards the end there are malty and nutty flavours.

The finish is long and mouth watering. The orange and honey flavours are there again. Quite a bit woody and salty too.

Back in 2017 I reviewed the 10-year old 100 Proof and was so enthused with it that I made it a permanent fixture of my whisky cabinet on the spot. I must say that this “regular” 10-year old is not far behind its powered-up brother. It is an astonishingly complex and multi-layered whisky and also very well balanced. I am afraid this one, too, is bound to become a permanent fixture in my cabinet.

@cricklewood - Have you tried the 15? Definitely my fave of the Benromachs I've tried; it was definitely what one might call a characterful malt!

Great review, touches on the complexities of this whisky, most of the rest of the range is good too but this somehow shines above them all. I traded a Laphroaig 15 200th anniversary bottle for 3 Ben 10 and don't regret that decision one bit.


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.

@OdysseusUnbound that's $89 tax INCLUDED!

@BlueNote I prefer marmite.

@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.


On May 28 I bought a bottle of this Scotch with a gift card and brought it to a dinner party. No one wanted any and the hosts don’t drink whisky so I was given it to take home. It promptly fell out of its box and smashed on the driveway.

I hadn’t planned on tasting it as I was driving. But then having been given the bottle (with the expectation by some present that it would be served at an upcoming whisky club tasting), I now felt a visceral need to undo the wrong that I felt had been done unto me, and on May 29 I bought another bottle (also with a gift card). I decided to open it that evening before anything could happen to it. The reviewing did stretch past midnight before posting.

I tasted the 10 YO years ago before it was rebranded and liked it. More recently I’ve worked my way through a bottle of the 10 / 100 proof which was excellent. How will this do?

Aside from the age and the ABV there’s little information on the bottle but the website states "80% Bourbon barrels, 20% Sherry hogshead. Final year in first fill Oloroso casks". There is no mention of chill filtration (probably yes at 43%) or whether colour has been added.

This expression is reviewed in my usual manner, allowing it to settle for about an hour after which I take my nosing and tasting notes, followed by the addition of a few drops of water, waiting, then nosing and tasting. I decided to use three different glasses (Glencairn, Brandy Snifter and my new Bourbon glass) for this review.


Neat – In the glencairn, beautiful nose, light, sweet, some apple, sweet red grape, maybe some wine. The more I sniff it the more complexity I find. The snifter provides a richer nose, more syrup, but the alcohol is there. In the bourbon glass the nose is a little subdued, less spirit, more emphasis on the fruit. Beautiful nose. 23/25

With water – a few drops make little change in the Glencairn, but in the snifter the alcohol explodes (so does the fruit). The Bourbon glass seems to have a rich, more balanced nose. Some more water (total 1-2 cc max) gives the glencairn a richer, more syrupy nose. In the snifter I get old, worn shoe leather, and deeper notes in the bourbon glass. With water the peat becomes noticeable in the background. Fantastic. (23/25)


Neat – In the glencairn, sweet arrival, but dry development. Some pepper, definitely wine influenced. In the brandy snifter it’s very bitter with less fruitiness. The bourbon glass is somewhere in between. In all, slightly thinner than I’m used to and not as powerful as expected. 21/25

With water – In the glencairn the flavour becomes a little richer, as in the snifter, and the mouth feel is creamier in the bourbon glass. Adding more water increases the effect. Much later I get the menthol note I remember from the 100 proof. (22/25)

Finish: sweet, medium long, and slightly astringent. Maybe it’s in the finish that the peat becomes most noticeable (as an aftertaste). Pleasant. 21/25

Balance: Neat, the mouth feel is a little thin and doesn’t deliver the promise of an awesome nose. 21/25 With water it is a little more balanced and richer. (22/25)

Score: Neat - 86 /100 With Water: 88 /100

It’s important to note that these impressions came from a new, freshly opened bottle, and it is likely to change with time and air (though I do gas).

Compared to the 100 proof it’s not a contender, but on its own it’s a pretty nice dram and not one I would shy away from, especially with such a nose! I think overall the bourbon glass won this contest.

But I learned a lesson. Never pour angry. I decided to pour into three different glasses, and unlike my last review, after which I was able to pour the remainder into my 30 cc “I couldn’t finish” MoM bottle with room to spare, this one is full and there’s lots left. I ended up filling a 60 cc sample bottle!


15 months after opening, I'm finishing it off. Certainly not pouring angry tonight

Glad I have a replacement for this one (from my BIL who does not enjoy peat).

Also glad the replacement is not replacing a bottle smashed to pieces, but one enjoyed from beginning to end.

I paid $59.15 for this. It now sells for $79.10... 15 months later.

Love the notes with the different glasses - I wish I had the time and the patience to be that detailed!


NOSE: straight out of a newly opened bottle - a touch of bacon smoke. Very balanced, complex nose with pears, hint of dry oak, some medicinal note as well. After a short while, hazelnuts, toffee come to the forefront. With a drop of water and some time, I got some delicious custard, nutty, spicy custard at that. Raisins, prunes, cinnamon rolls and yeasty bread. Very elegant nose which is brimming with nuances.The empty glass smelled of Demerara sugar.

TASTE: Without water it came on sweet with a touch of salt, complex with a very fast development of flavors and a fairly short finish. But as it sat in the glass for some time, it opened up beautifully with bread, oak, nutty, spice fruitcake. It's hard to pick flavors apart, since they all work as one in a very harmonious way. A drop of water releases more peppery, spicy notes with toffee and some bitterness. Delicious, rich fruitcake.

FINISH: not particularly long, but sweet along with some mineral notes as well. Slightly drying with a hint of peat.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: a very beautiful speyside whisky with a very nice complex, restrained character. Slight bitterness in taste along with a hint of smoke add more "bad boy" characteristics which beautifully balance out that what is otherwise a delicious speyside fruitcake.

Benromach 10, "the bad boy of Speyside"! I love it.


My grandmother's apfelstrudel was the best apfelstrudel in the world. I know it sounds ridiculous but it WAS. It was the traditional Vienna style apfelstrudel, but it was homemade, and handmade by a grandmother who actually met the Czar. I think it says a lot about her apfelstrudel… For the filling, Savta Malka used to cut the green apples, and marinate them in lemon. Then she had to cook the apples with sultanas, brandy, brown sugar, cinnamon and just a little nutmeg and salt. She stirred them until the sugar was just a little bit burned and the apples turned brown and were soaked with all the flavors. I remember the house was full with that deep, marvelous smell… Now, just imagine that smell…

Anyhow… Benromach, 10 years old. A relatively young whiskey, but it is very mature for its chronological age. I bought it to myself for the birth of my second son. Maybe it was just an excuse, but it was a good one. Since my son is still young, I got the new packaging, if it means anything...

Nose – It starts like some sweet fruity perfume, flowery and light. But it grows bigger and thicker. Crispy sourness of green apples, Dried orange peel. Malt is all around the scene, too. Dark chocolate with raisins and nuts. Vanilla. A faint touch of smoke.

Palate – Full bodied but heavenly light. Watery, and Fruity. Malt and caramel sweetness, but I also recognize some ocean saltiness. Raisins, Cinnamon, ginger and just a hint of peat and wood.

Finish – Soft and long enough to bring out the wood and sherry.

A fine, delicate, beautifully balanced, and surprisingly affordable spyside whiskey. A broad range of tasted and notes; The more I drink, the more I see – and that’s not even the cask strength...

This is nothing like the Benromach 10 I tasted, bought a few years ago in a 200 cc bottle that I finished with my brother in law in December (we needed the bottle for me to transport some Booker's back home).

I think Benromach 10 YO has undergone some changes over the past few years and I wonder if the liquid in your bottle is not the same as the one in mine. There were darker notes in the one I tasted, and some chocolate, and no peat.

I'm very interested in tasting the 57% version after @MaltActivist's glowing review but I have never seen it here... Sad.

@JoePass APFELSTRUDEL...es gibt nichts besseres :-D

My maternal grandparents were also from Vienna, how about that... it was just pure comfort & bliss in pastry from, wasn't it!

And yes, this new Benromach10' is possibly one the best best young Speysiders on the market, a real throwback with something of a 60's profile.


I'm writing this review hot on the trails of my latest love affair from the same distillery - The Benromach 10 100 Proof. However, it was this standard 10 Year old bottling responsible for us meeting. And for that I owe it a debt of gratitude.

I am, like many other whisky enthusiasts, a fan of Ralfy and his modest yet honest ways. So when he announced this single malt as his whisky of the year I was naturally quite curious.

Benromach has had a history of closures and re-openings, however, it's greatest fortune has come at the hands of legendary independent bottlers Gordon & MacPhail. Having acquired the distillery in 1993 (10 years after it closed down) they fulfilled a lifelong dream of owning and running their very own. And it was finally in 2004 that they bottled their first whisky.

However, what I truly love about them is that they have decided to go back to Speyside roots and re-create the classic flavors of the 60s. Using stock acquired from Diageo as a benchmark they set about re-creating a lightly peated (12ppm) spirit reminiscent of the old days.

And I have to admit this is turning out to be quite a stellar comeback. Steeped in traditionalism the distillery is run by just three people and the only computer in the distillery is used to check emails. Which means that the process and the end product is truly a reflection of skill and the perfection of this art.

This is a smart blend of 80% bourbon and 20% sherry hogshead married together for it's final year in first-fill Oloroso casks thus completing it's 10 year journey.

My sample is from a brand new bottle with a strength of 43% and has been bottled on 07.08.2014

Nose: Mild peat. Honeysuckle. Fruit wax. Quite earthy. Vanilla. Dark chocolate. Faint spices - maybe ginger. Hint of oak. Green peas. Tobacco leaf. Dried green tea. Touch of nuts. This is wonderfully balanced with no off notes.

Palate: The delivery is quite thin without being weak. Silky is more like it. Ginger. Honey. Quite sweet with a touch of spice. Vanilla. Tobacco. Chocolate. Nuts. Roasted dark caramel. Wisp of smoke. Nice and balanced bordering on easy drinking. Very approachable.

Finish: Medium. Tobacco. Oak. Bitter chocolate.

This is a fantastic little whisky which ticks a lot of the right boxes. I really like this style of Speyside. I hope other established Speysiders can take a leaf from Benromach's book and try and re-create the magic.


To be quite honest, I would never thought of buying this bottle. I'm not a typical Speyside lover so it was not on my radar. Then Ralfy named this bottle 'Whisky of the Year 2014' and he got me curious. I started to do some online research. It's should be a 'old-style' Speyside, this means, with smoke! Woehoe! That's what I like, sweetness in the right balance with smoke/peat. I like the Islay Distillers Editions, I like the Ardbeg Uigeadail, and I like the less smoke/peaty ones from Highland Park. The Benromach seems to be in this last area of Highland Park. Further more I discovered that it's a real small distillery, this reminded me of Deanston, a distillery I'm really fond of (Deanston 12 yo). All this was the reason to go for it and buy the bottle for € 35,-.

What is it like? This really is one of the most enjoyable Speyside whiskies in my opinion. The combination of smoke and sherry is handled expertly and the level of quality here is simply amazing. I tasted this bottle and had 4 drams on the same evening, that's a big compliment for Benromach, well done! They made this spot on, the way it should be. It beats Highland Park 12 yo, Benromach 10 yo is a keeper!

@DutchGaelisch Ha, that is funny. I did exactly as you. I saw Ralfy's review a few weeks ago and really like that Ralfy takes into account the cost when picking his whisky of the year. I agree completely that this is a perfect daily dram. Really want to try the Imperial proof now but have not been able to find it as yet. The price difference seems to be a bit much, but I'm going to nab it the first chance I get.

@FMichael Good question, I forgot to mention. It's the new packaging bottled on 02-06-2014 as it says on the back of the bottle. HP12 comes to mind, but this one has more smoke and more sweetness without losing the balance.


The reviewed sample was compliments of @Nock, from a bottle opened 8 weeks ago, and approximately 80% full

Nose: very pleasant medium-sweet peat of strong intensity; slight grapey wine flavours; relatively fragrant underlying malt; some high-pitched crystalline sugar. This is mellow, yet with sufficient strength of flavour...a good solid nose

Taste: sweeter on the palate than in the nose; the wine seems a little stronger; the peat seems less pointed and a little less intense; otherwise the nose flavours translate to the palate; sweet balances bitter

Finish: moving more toward the bitter on the finish, but still quite pleasant

Balance: decent balance of sweet against bitter; the peat is very tasty here; there is lots of flavour in this 10 yo malt. Benromach 10 yo is a solid choice

Curious as well to the bottling...

2 stores nearby have the older bronze colored metal cylinder expression (which I had, and enjoyed).

Wonder if there's any difference between the new/old bottlings in terms of flavor?

Was this the new 2014 presentation, or the old bottle?


Ever had a whisky that you simply forgot about? According to my log I had my first Benromach 10 back in 2012. So this is more of a rediscovery, than an actual new experience. Right from the Gordon & MacPhail Boutique Speyside distillery comes this ten year old 80-20% mix of bourbon and sherry casks with an oloroso finish.

Nose: greasy on the nose with hints of tea, a touch of peat, a whiff of sherry, mustard, brown sugar, nutmeg (stimulating) and some vanilla.

Mouth: A rich big bodied, sherry infused, smooth whisky with a warm mouth feel, mineral and slightly waxy on the palate. Notes of apple wood smoke, bitter oranges, and a touch of vanilla.

Finish: medium long finish with light mineral elements, with a spicy edge and some citrus notes in the tail.

Conclusion A great whisky, certainly for a 10yo. The mix of bourbon and sherry casks payed off and created a rich and multi-layered whisky. Great job here G&M, an absolute must have.

Strangely, we don't have the 10 yr old in Taiwan. Oppositely, we seem to be the only country with a 12 yr old OB from Benromach. But the tasting notes and your general perception of this seem to line up with my take on the 12. I'm very interested in trying the 10 now. Thanks, @Pandemonium.

Totally agree @Pandemonium. Just discovered this one recently and really enjoying it. Goes to show that it doesn't have to be 30 years old and cost a fortune to be a very good whisky. Excellent value. Thanks for the review.


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.

I was pleasantly surprised by this - plus by the seeming quality of the spirit itself (if there be such). The smoke was fine in this despite not being my favorite. Worthwhile to try for up to $60US (prefer $45 - 50).

Nice review...This reminds me of a Highland Park - maybe the 15 yr expression.


A small Speyside distillery rescued and reopened in the 1990’s. A deftly presented younger malt. The smoke is the main player here, but it does not dominate possession of the palate. I look forward to drinking more of this distilleries products in years to come as the spirit matures. Nose: Delicate wood smoke, (not peat smoke), malt, cedar and cinnamon. Taste: More spice here, but still the wood smoke is dominant. Clean appetising. Some sherry warmth. Finish: Medium length and warm, smokey notes fading and some sweetness lingering.


Still hunting for the perfect summer whisky in preparation of the upcoming hot summer months or as I like to call it "when the land bursts into flame and I melt"

Today was a long day at work, full of whisky meetings and beer tastings (yeah I know my life is very difficult) and so I thought I'd crack open another Benromach, but this time I thought I'd go with an age statement, in this case the 10 year old.

Now going in I have no idea what this whisky is going to be like. Yes I visited the distillery in May, but of the whiskies that we sampled, we didn't get a chance to try the 10 year old.

So I was a little, only a little surprised, when upon cracking the seal I immediately discovered that this whisky, even thought it is a Speyside, was peated.

I say that I was only a little surprised as I know that Benromach does like to play with Speyside peat from time to time in their whiskies, I know this as I've got a bottle of their Peat Smoke in my cabinet.

So as I unwind I sit on Youtube, listening to different songs on my playlist, just nosing the glencairn, curious as to what will appear.

Well first off there is the peat, but not the harsh oh so delicious Islay style peat, but a softer kind, almost fruity at times, vanilla, green apples, grassy hay, dark chocolate, nutmeg, cinnamon, some mint, and as I quietly sit here listening to music, some very faint crackling pork belly.


The meat totally comes out of left field and winds up developing around 90 minutes of the whisky sitting in the glencairn, but makes the entire experience extra special. Now that I can smell it, I can't help, but not smell it!

But after 90 minutes or so I feel like I've gotten as much out of the nose as I can, so it's tasting time!

Slightly creamy, and while the 43% abv isn't optimal, it carries itself nicely. Slight phenols, but again very mild, nothing like an Islay whisky, soft smoke, fruit, raspberries and strawberries, grass, little earthy.

Not a bad little whisky and definitely different from your normal Speysides.

A long finish with dark chocolate, some smoke and then faint apples and vanilla end the dram.

Running at roughly $75 to $85 AUS which is I'd say a fair price for an interesting little entry level Speyside that is not something most people think of when they think Speyside. If you get a chance to try a nip of this, definitely don't hesitate!

I tried a benromach 10 a few years ago and I don't remember any peat. Was this a special edition? Might they have changed their expression?

Sorry I think I meant to say smoke when I was writing this instead of peat. Doh!


From the smallest working distillery in speyside this 10 year old dram has been matured in a mix of bourbon and sherry casks before finally being vatted together and given final maturation in Oloroso Sherry.

  • Nose: malt rich, glucose, slightly fruitcake, vanilla, grassy, almost woodsap, sherry and burbon notes, hint of milk chocolate to.

  • Pallet: big body, nose continues good balance between sweet and not so sweet, and a little bit of smoke emerging.

  • Finish: little bit of smoke and a little peat, well balanced, malt rich again

  • Mark neat – 8.5

This whisky exhibits a big full body and nice light refreshing finish, would be great as a pre-dinner apertif or maybe for winding down after lunch


This malt reminds me of Bowmore 12, only better. Parallels are found in the fruit-to-peat-to-vegetal profile that each whisky seems to share. Keen observers might note that, for me, the association with Bowmore is not necessarily a good thing.

Nose: initially, dry peat and dry industrial smoke, with a fruity subtext. Give it time and you will be rewarded. Dark fruit will dominate, with an undercurrent of smoke and peat.

Palate: all over the place. There is a watery-sweet arrival that will linger throughout the development and into the finish. As the sweetness subsides (still lingering though) there is a chalky dryness that precedes the mild spice. Then the peat chimes in, itself transitioning into a leafy or vegetal sourness. A jack-of-all-trades.

Finish: sustained. The sweetness is still there, but the drying vegetal note dominates along with some lingering smoke.

Well this one is a challenge to map, and maybe not the most pleasant of challenges. There is something about leafy, vegetal, ferny, sour notes that do not appeal to my frail and orchidaceous palate. Nice quality, but I’m glad I committed only to the 200ml bottle.

Indeed it is disproportionately pricey. However, I picked it up after exchanging at the LCBO a duplicate bottle someone had purchased for me. I swapped a Balvenie double wood (I already had a 1L bottle) for the Benromach and a bunch of Ontario craft beers. So, technically, it cost me nothing, which is always a good deal.

It might be considered unbalanced in the sense that the range flavours - from sweet to smoke to sour to dry - are quite varied and 'all over the map', and take some time to figure out. It's not quite the tight, simple, and pleasant profile of, say, a Talikser. However, the flavours do arrive and develop in a consistent pattern and balance, without any one overpowering or muting the others. There was not anything off putting about it, other than my general dislike for vegetal, leafy, sour notes. Perhaps I did not really answer your question (you can let me know). In the end, I wouldn't turn down a dram if it were offered.

...though that 200mL bottle is disproportionately pricey in Ontario (smart to go with the mini, nonetheless)!

Thanks for the review, as I have been curious about this one. Would I be correct in interpreting your notes to mean that this bottle may provide a guidepost to what an 'unbalanced' whisky is like (or at least one form of unbalanced)?

Connosr, can the Benromach 10 be added as a standard bottle to the database? Thanks!


Nose - Marshmallow, spice and leather jackets. Like a sweet hippy incense. Lovely.

Palate - Very silky, oily, it slips around your mouth and almost seems too much but then the flavours come through. It's strong, very strong. A powerhouse of oak, aniseed and vanilla. It's sweet but an acid bitter note hits hard as you swallow. I like this though as it provides some edge and balance.

Finish - Ashy peat (light) notes arrive as the bitterness continues, then gets matched by more oak and spice. Sherry bursts through but is not obtrusive like in some malts. It remains earthy, masculine and robust throughout.

As of writing this is hands down the best Speyside I have tried so far. They are normally a bit too easy drinking for my tastes. Would like to try the younger 'peat smoke' bottle next.


The independent bottler Gorden & MacPhail is owner of Speyside’s smallest operating distillery since 1993: Benromach. Today I’m trying the ‘new’ Benromach, i.e. whisky that has been distilled and matured since G&M took over. In 1998 production resumed and in October 2009 this Benromach 10 Year Old appeared. It contains 80% bourbon matured and 20% sherry matured whisky. After 9 years in those casks, the whisky matured a further 12 monhts in sherry casks.

There is quite some oak and malt on the nose here with added farmy notes. It reminds me of damp moss. With patience, you’ll also get some vanilla and heather flowers. The whole is surrounded by a whiff of smoke. But I find it a tad too spirity.

He’s quite creamy with a spicy attack. But soon that evolves into a soft and fruity dram with roasted nuts, walnuts and the bitterness of almonds. Again, the whole is complemented by some smoke, that surprises with its restrained nature.

The finish is medium in lenght and reminds me of a barbecue cooling down.

A surprising smokey speysider, to say the least. Not really my type of dram, but very well made indeed. It can easily lie 5 years.


The Benromach 10yr is one of the most attractive malts I've ever had. Granted, I've only been imbibing whisky for 3 years or so. So, I'm new to this wonderful world of whisky...

Like many of you, I read review after review of how spectacular this stuff was and I had every intention of trying some at WhiskyFest NYC - Sadly, one of the many booths I missed.

It wasn't until I read Dr. Whisky's review of the stuff (drwhisky.blogspot.com/2009/12/…) that I finally opened up my wallet and laid down the cash for this baby. It ended up coming on my Birthday - what a birthday it was!

Nose - Sweet warm smoke, honey, sweet peony, penny candy store (hanging out by the butterscotch), damp towel, vanilla

Palate - Gooey-ooey butterscotch riddled with smoke, root veggies (Dr. Whisky nailed it when he said he tasted stewed carrots - dead on!), fresh soil, leather, more butterscotch - mouth coating and smooth as heck!

Finish - Long, smokey oak, vanilla is back with some nuttiness creeping up.

This is the ultimate comfort dram. Usually, I like an ABV of at least 46% but I think they nailed it with the 43%. I had two drams that night.

So, here's where the black hole comes in. I am a total freak when it comes to shows about space, black holes, supernovas... good sciencey stuff. I was watching a show on black holes the night I opened this up and I found my self completely blocking the outside world and was staring at the legs in my glass as they slowly danced back down to the bottom. I was so taken by this stuff that it took me from my science show! And, that's really saying a lot. - 92 (I gave it an extra point for being a standard expression and so dang cheap!)

Well - times have changed - ordered my bottle in the US, and Israel has changed it's taxes to make good whisky affordable... I'll bring this one back on my next trip to the US, along with a 1991 16YO Bowmore port wood, and an Ardbog, unless I can find an Airigh Nam Beist...

Damn good malt i tell you. havent sampled it until yesterday... never expected a peaty speyside to be that good. man o man. indeed, it deserves the score for it's quality,affordability.

that 750 ml bullshit for US is weird. i dont understand why u need a whisky to be bottled in 2 versions : 1 for the USA, and one for the rest of the world. darned silly. but when u order online, u can get the 700 and that's fine? WTF?!

uncle SAM uncle SAM... silly sam


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