Benromach 15 Year Old
Review by @jerryclyde
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Prior to its reopening in 1998 by Gordon & MacPhail, Benromach had a somewhat checkered past. Periods of dormancy or mothballing, coupled with a string of ownership changes led to its official closing in 1983. The spirit, during this period, was primarily for the blending trade, and the release of single malt offerings was haphazard at best with independent bottlers responsible for those releases. When Gordon & MacPhail took ownership they offered some of their acquired stock as single malts with the legend, "bottled by the proprietors". I would guess that these bottlings are quite rare.
After a series of refurbishments and the installation of new stills (much shorter than the original), they began production. The new owners implemented a new production model based on classical and time testing procedures emphasizing a whisky "made by hand for genuine character." As my notes will attest, the new owners have transformed this distillery into one that has a bright future.
My bottle of Benromach was bottled on October 29, 2020, putting distillation sometimes around 2005, during the first decade of the distillery's reopening.
Color: Chestnut ("Natural Colour")
Nose: Dark chocolate covered cherries just bit into - then the sherry arrives. A nice blend of spices (cinnamon, ginger, cloves) interacting with dried fruit (raisins, prunes) and the sherry. Finally, cigar box notes appear with orange zest. A slight smokiness only adds to the complexity and enjoyment. This is a complicated nose with which you could spend hours.
Palate: For a big malt, the softest delivery imaginable nipping with barley sugars and stewed fruit (apples, plums, raisins). A malty middle with developing spices (mostly cinnamon) make for a nice sweet-tart experience. A pinch of peat and a surprising saltiness finish things off. Chewy as the oak tannins appear.
Finish: Very long and still developing. The oak becomes more prominent but the sherry and spices keep pace.
A beautiful dram.
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@jerryclyde thank you very much for a lovely and very informative review!
5 months ago 0
Nice review. I have not tried the 15 but I’ve enjoyed the 10. I find Benromach, while it is great as a 10/100, is one of the few malts that holds its own at the low AVB of 43%.
5 months ago 0
@jerryclyde - lovely review of a malt I'm rather fond of, cheers!
I retried this recently from a sample (cheers, @Wierdo) and thought it was still As good as I remembered from a few years ago. Can't say the new packaging impresses me but, if the juice is still good, who really cares?
I did notice that the newest bottle had no mint/menthol notes compared to the one from c2017. Still.very good though and one of the best vfm malts around.
5 months ago 2Who liked this?