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Benromach 15 Years Old

Man - E - Faces

8 691

@RianCReview by @RianC

28th Jan 2018

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  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Balance
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  • Overall
    91

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

To those of a similar vintage to me you may remember the character Man-E-faces from He Man. This whisky makes me think of him as it is such a changeable one and is so hard to pin down. Like @wierdo with the Springbank CS 12, I've gone through nearly half a bottle and it's hard feel you ever have a true picture of what it's all about. His acceptance to simply let go and enjoy prompted a similar response in myself and so thought I'd just do the review as i find it today.

Bottles been open a month with just over half left. Notes here are neat with about twenty minutes in the glass.

Nose: dusty funk, leather, tobacco, (signature Benromach notes) sherry, red fruits fresh and dry, summer berries, dirty vanilla, savoury herbs like a bouquet garni with some mint, muddied spices - cinnamon, ginger, damp earth. Musty overtones. Softened and rounded peat but still quite a hefty nip of it given the age - sweet and dry liquorice; oh so complex. It changes lots in the glass and with time and, honestly, I could write a very long list here. Pretty amazing but it takes effort.

Taste: Arrives all sweet and sour and then the fresh and dry fruit starts to unwind. It's thick and rich and there's gingery, subdued peat as it develops. Some charred vanilla and tart spice notes. Mocha latte. Almost a cider vinegar thing towards the finish. Very complex again. I must be sat in Grandad's old leather arm chair as it feels like the whole whisky from start to finish has been strained through it. As complex on the palette as the nose.

Finish: Longish, more musty earth, ginger comes out more at the end along with a tartness. Some tannins and remnants of the sweet berries and fresh fruit syrup.

I like this better without water and it doesn't take much, imo. A few drops brings out more fresh fruit and spice but it loses some of that leathery funk that I really like.

This is a wonderful whisky and ticks all the boxes for me. To say it's the 10's older sibling is simplifying matters but not far off the truth. Those extra 5 years in sherry casks (oloroso) have really given it time to develop and let the flavours marry together. Not an 'easy access' malt by any means but for fans of the style I think you'll be very impressed.

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6 comments

@cricklewood
cricklewood commented

@RianC, I like the He-Man reference, I knew this knowledge would come in handy one day.

On a more serious note, nice review, I've enjoyed everything I've tried from them. It's a very nice style, one that doesn't want to blend into the masses or let the wood do too much of the heavy lifting.

9 months ago 2Who liked this?

@Hewie
Hewie commented

It really makes you wonder about those online reviews where they open up a fresh bottle and proceed to give their definitive opinion on a whisky. Fascinating how a bottle can be so changeable. You had me from the your first descriptors of the nose "dusty funk, leather, tobacco" - that's right up my alley. I'm still enjoying a bottle of the Benro 10, and the 10/100 is next on the cards for me, but this sounds like another excellent offering from them. Thanks for doing the hard work for us smile

9 months ago 2Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC commented

@Hewie - It's a hard job but . . . smile

This is a different experience to the 10/100 but the family resemblance is definitely there. I'd probably go for this but it would be very much mood dependent.

@cricklewood - I'm a big BR fan as well and it's one of a few distilleries that I'd take a gamble on pretty much anything they put out. Gutted I couldn't get my hands on the 5 year old before it was discontinued but have a bottle of the Peat Smoke (untried as of yet) in the stash, lurking with intent . . .

9 months ago 2Who liked this?

Wierdo commented

Great review @RianC ! I just finished off my bottle of Benromach 10 last week. I want to get something else from them but am torn between the 10/100 and the 15. What would be your recommendation?

9 months ago 1Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC commented

@Wierdo - Thanks! Inspired, one might say wink

Tough one. Having tasted the 10 and 10/100 side by side I would say I'd be happy with either depending on my mood. The power of the 100 certainly gives it more oomph!

I think my view with the 15 and the 10/100 is similar. The 15 is more complex and is one to nurse for a couple of hours by the fire while you slowly delve in, but the flavour intensity of the 100 is something to savour also. Toss of a coin really; both, if you can!

9 months ago 1Who liked this?

Wierdo commented

I'll definitely try each at some point!

9 months ago 0

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