When in 1992 Gordon&MacPhail acquired the Benromach distillery, every tool of the trade except washbacks and barrels needed to be bought. It took six years to restart the production, but finally Benromach recently came back proud on the market, with a wide core range. Last year this last bottling was added: an entry level made by ex bourbon (80%) and ex Oloroso first fill sherry casks (20%). There’s also a cask strength version (57%) that we’re going to sample soon…
N: we already tasted the 10 yo bottled in 2011. Our review thus began: “A soft blanket of smoke…”. Well, the blanket is still here, but not so soft. You’re punched by whiffs of bacon, indeed. Quite unique notes of tomato juice. Overall, it’s mineral and very briny, with salt and pepper too. It’s weird and sexy and full-bodied thanks to an increasing sugary side: vanilla bean, canned fruit and tangerine marmalade. A lot of pipe tobacco and fresh malt, cereals. Wonderful and complex nose, really “subjective”: everyone can smell something different, our senses and memories can wander in every direction.
P: intensely smoked, it reminds us that juicy bacon, again. The mineral/vegetal side takes over (salty, olives, again tomato juice). Those peculiare “dirty” notes recall Mortlach or Longrow/Springbank. There’s also an overripe orange. Again tobacco, than a heavy sweetness of liquorice and wood. Mixed stewed fruits sticky and sugary. Salty caramel.
F: the smokiness is now all about embers and coals. The peat is more polite and clean and a pleasant oak note stands out.
Do you know that you can find this 10 yo kid for only 40 euro? Do you know that it’s almost impossible to find a malt with this kind of complex and unique profile for a similar amount? Well, if you know it, probably a bottle is already in your cabinet. Anyway, we have to confirm the general enthusiasm for this new Benromach (here you can read Serge’s opinion among many) with a warning: it’s a very unusual single malt, with some blunt notes that inevitably will disappoint someone. We’re not among them: 87/100.
Sottofondo musicale consigliato: Yoko Komatsu – 帰路2