Google Time Warp tasting, today Benromach

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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

September 16, 2015


Time Warp tasting, today Benromach

Benromach 10 is one whisky that I'll follow through the years! There aren't many whiskies that I like to taste each and every year, but this time I will, because I believe Benromach are one of very few guardians of the authentic 'old style' of Speyside. And as the ‘old’ one, we’ll see if we can find something funny…

Benromach 10 yo (43%, OB, +/-2015)

Benromach 10 yo (43%, OB, +/-2015) Four stars and a half Colour: gold. Nose: yes, it’s well the Springbank from the north (east). Can’t be Lochside anymore, can it? Shoe polish, old oils, gravel, waxed papers, smoked fish (a wee bit), mashed turnips and potatoes, eucalyptus, lovage – or rather Maggi sauce… There should be a word for this, let me check… That’s right, ‘idiosyncratic’. Mouth: yess. Teas (orange pekoe, if you want to know), more smoked fish, more shoe polish and other greasy/waxy things, a pinhead of wasabi, something stale (but very pleasantly so, imagine), more tea, and a growing leafy smokiness. As if they had used autumn leaves instead of peat to smoke their malt. What’s really cool is that some relatively active oak has been in use as well, which adds roundness and sexiness. Otherwise, I guess this baby would be a tad too austere. Finish: long, with a little salt, apple peelings, fresh walnuts, bitter oranges, and grass smoke. Comments: as I remembered it from last year, but perhaps even better. One more point! SGP:463 - 87 points.

So, the older sparring-partner. Why not one by the current owners of Benromach, bottled before they bought the distillery back in 1998 (if I remember well, no time for Google).

Benromach 14 yo 1965 (40%, Gordon & MacPhail, Connoisseur's Choice, +/-1979)

Benromach 14 yo 1965 (40%, Gordon & MacPhail, Connoisseur's Choice, +/-1979) Four stars and a half Colour: gold. Nose: some dedicated whisky heads may have wondered whether the rebuilding and the subsequent change of processes at Benromach had altered the distillate’s character. This is not a definitive opinion, and even less an expert’s one, but I’d say ‘no’. Both whiskies, at rather similar ages, do display a similar profile, even if this one may have got a leafier style, and perhaps a little more caramel too. Goes rather more towards old books, antiques shop, old coins, and all that. Which may not be such good news as far as the palate’s concerned… Mouth: not quite, this is just as ‘modern’ Benromach as the new 10, with the same kind of mustardy, waxy, and smoky style. And the same notes of smoky tea, other teas, earth… Oh how I’d love to be able to try this at cask strength! Gets very dry, even leafier, and almost salmiaky (I’ve been awaiting a letter from the Royal Academy for ages, but they don’t seem to care about my totally broken English!) Finish: short and dry, like many older CCs. Must have been the spirit caramel… Comments: forget about the finish, all the rest has been pretty great, and perfectly un-modern. Certainly one of the better old CCs, I find it much better than the 14 yo 1968, but that one I tasted in 2004. SGP:452 - 88 points.

More tasting notes Check the index of all Benromach I've tasted so far


Pete McPeat and Jack Washback







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