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TWE Whisky of the Year 2020

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@Hewie
Hewie started a discussion

The Whisky Exchange have named their 2020 "Whisky of the Year" as Benromach 15. The criteria was: BELOW £65 NOT CASK STRENGTH AN ONGOING RELEASE I've actually never tried it myself. Your thoughts? thewhiskyexchange.com/feature/…

4 years ago

13 replies

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge replied

@Hewie, haha, they must be hung with a shitload of that stuff!

4 years ago 9Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote replied

Sounds a bit contrived.

4 years ago 1Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

@paddockjudge - lol laughing In fairness, it's a quality dram and usually around the £50 Mark which is pretty decent.

It's one I keep meaning to stock up on ...I

@Hewie - I think youd like it, mate.

4 years ago 3Who liked this?

@Misty
Misty replied

Well when you have 2k bottles sitting in the warehouse and barely moving, what you gonna do? :-)

4 years ago 3Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

Jim Murray was able to move tens of thousands of bottles of CRNHR at LCBO stores in a heartbeat a few years back. Maybe they are hoping for the same result.

4 years ago 2Who liked this?

@Nock
Nock replied

Interesting choice. They picked the Bowmore 15yo for their whisky of the year in 2018. Think on that a second.

Both 15 years old

Both 43%

Both have medium to low level of peating

Both have moderately strong sherry cask influence

At least the picking process is showing some consistency . . . if you like that profile. Which I kind of do. I would actually have said I think about the Benromach 15yo and the Bowmore 15yo in the same “category.” I would have said that both seem like old school whiskies with some funky peat and even funky sherry. And both are underpowered.

4 years ago 3Who liked this?

@Hewie
Hewie replied

If you read (and believe) the link they did actually go through some sort of a process to pick it which involved many other tasters

4 years ago 1Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote replied

@Nock Don't know about the Benromach, but the Bowmore has added caramel colouring, is chill filtered, underpowered and pretty weak on complexity and flavour….unless it's improved a great deal since the last time I had it which is about 5 years ago.

4 years ago 2Who liked this?

@Nock
Nock replied

@BlueNote I am certain that the Benromach at 43% is also chill filtered. Otherwise it would be cloudy in the bottle. I am not sure about the e-150a. I have tried both the Benromach 15yo and the Bowmore 15yo in the past two years. Sadly, I don’t have regular access to the Benromach 15yo. And when I happen to see it I have always gone for the 10yo 57% Imperial Proof (what is what we get in the USA) which always around about the same price.

I would say that both drams at 43% are underpowered. I have far more experience with the Bowmore 15yo and my experience has taught me that it really needs a year of being open to start getting good. I would have scored both malts around the mid 80’s (86-88) and in the same range. My last time trying the Benromach 15yo . . . it seemed dull and muted. Oh well.

I also think that both bottles are overpriced. TWE has them both at a decent priced just under £49/$65. But in my area the Benromach 15yo goes for £75/$99 and the Bowmore 15yo goes for £58/$76. At those prices I won’t be picking up either. Thankfully, I was able to stock up on some Bowmore 15yo at 50% off or $39 (£29) each. At that price the whisky seems quite good.

@Hewie while I am extremely skeptical about most things . . . I would assume that if the Whisky Exchange went to all the trouble to explain their process and actually name all those names of people involved that they probably did actually participate in the exercise. Because if there were some shenanigans those people would likely call them out. That said, I am sure that TWE controlled which whiskies were in the “running” for whisky of the year. It sounds like there was a tasting set that people could buy and then vote on. To be that transparent about the process I would surmise that the Benromach 15yo did actually win the majority of the votes. And did you see what came in second place? The Kavalan Classic at 40%!! I am shocked by that. It tells me more about the people involved in the selection process than anything.

4 years ago 4Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

@Nock @BlueNote - Benromach 15 is stated as non chill filtered on whiskybase and they're usually on point. I agree though that I think some kind of filtering has happened but maybe not as intense as some get treated to?

4 years ago 1Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote replied

@Nock I have to agree that the 10 YO 100 proof is the Benromach of choice. It will soon be unavailable and replaced by the NAS cask strength. Better stock up on the former before it disappears forever.

4 years ago 5Who liked this?

@KRB80
KRB80 replied

I have no problem with this accolade. Although, personally it's one of my favorites so I'm biased.

4 years ago 1Who liked this?

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@KRB80@paddockjudge