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Benromach Traditional

An Interesting Entry Level Speyside

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@SquidgyAshReview by @SquidgyAsh

11th Dec 2013


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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I've not been able to write as much as I would have liked to lately, with exploding computers, dying email and a sick wife. The most difficult part has been the sick wife.

See the thing is that my lovely wife takes part in my whisky reviews, pointing out some hilarious observations about the different whiskies that I enjoy, observations such as "definitely baby diaper" off lovely Taiwanese sherry casks, etc.

It always makes my night and since she's come down sick and unable to taste anything, my tasting has quickly dried up. However tonight she looked at me and informed me that I should crack a bottle. It's been too long, I know you miss it, it doesn't matter if I can't fully taste it.

She informed me that she didn't want anything big and smoky so I looked into my Speyside section, and after eying a cask strength Benromach, Benromach Peat Smoke, Benromach 30 year old, amongst a heap of Grants, Glenfiddichs and Glenlivets I finally settled on Benromach Traditional.

God only knows why, other then that I found the peat to be less intense then the other Benromachs and I just didn't feel like any of the other Speysides on hand.

Plus I really wanted to play around with a Benromach.

See Benromach tends to be a peated Speyside whisky, but nothing as intense as an Islay, so when I poured the whisky into it's glencairn the first thing to waft up was some gentle peat smoke.

The second thing that strikes me is it's pale pale color. Almost clear. I'm stunned by the color so I immediately take to our good friend, the internet, to pull up some information about the casks used. In theory it's made up of entirely first fill casks, 80% bourbon, 20% sherry.

Well I can tell what most of the cask influence is going to be by the color, but I'm a firm believer that it's not the color of the whisky, but the aromas and flavors that matter the most, and I love having a light naturally colored whisky vs a whisky full of caramel coloring.

I hand the glass to my wife who wrinkles her nose and says that it smells like cigarettes to her. Hahaha I do believe that my choice for the evening was not the best one that I could have made.

She then takes a sip, and while she says it's smokey, she doesn't mind it at all.

Let's give this bad boy a shot shall we?

The whisky is driven along by the spirit, not the casks, or so I believe, with peat being a standard characteristic.

The nose has some soft peat, smoke, definitely some phenols so cigarettes is a pretty good description, some fruit, definitely citrus, lemons? small honey, and a small hint of vanilla hiding in the background.

Not too shabby, but let's see how the palate holds up.

Mildly floral, some peppery spiciness, heather, peat smoke, malted barley, mild vanilla.

It's not incredibly complex, but mind you this is one of the entry level Benromachs, so I'm not expecting a heap of complexity anyway.

It has a mild finish with the peat being the leading man.

Not too shabby, a nice little whisky, which would run at around $70 or so AUS, which is reasonable for an entry level Speyside. If you're looking for a whisky that's not as intense as an Islay, but isn't the normal run of the mill Speyside, you could do a lot worse then Benromach Traditional.

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