A rarity now folks, as I do a tasting review this time of a
newly opened Benromach cask strength release. Firstly the details:
Bottled: 20 September 2010
Cask Type: First fill bourbon barrels
Cask Numbers: 87-91, 93, 94 (what happened to 92?)
Additional: Unchillfiltered, natural strength and colour
Quite often I refrain from doing these bottle reviews as I
know what I like and that’s about it really. Plus there are bunch of guys out
there doing a grand (and much better) job of virtually placing the malt into your mouth with some
entertaining flavour notes. However as the winter months arrive, those
distillery tours become harder to accomplish and I have to do something at
When I visited Benromach earlier this year it was the first
distillery in what was a hectic few days on Speyside. My instant memory was
timing the car journey over the railway line that passes the distillery
otherwise you’d have to sit for ages and thereby miss the tour! Apparently this
happens a lot so watch out if you have the pleasure of visiting the guys up at
Benromach. Owned by Gordon & MacPhail, the distillery is experimenting with
various finishes and barleys whilst still giving us a core range that deserves
This cask strength bottle was my 2nd favourite at
the distillery that day. The 30 year old is very affordable and highly
recommended; expect to pay around £130 for that, which is a bargain compared other distilleries. I also enjoyed the Peat Smoke
release as well. Plenty of choice is guaranteed and a warm welcome.
Colour: Amber, honey, golden syrup, marmalade. You can tell
this is a 1st fill bourbon!
Nose: Vanilla obviously but some spice residue is
noticeable. Without water you can feel that alcohol reaching into your inner
depths and the burn, maybe chilli. Adding water certainly tames the beast but you’ve really
got to dig deep to sample honey (again), orange, lemon peel, tablet.
Mouth: Without water it’s only recommended to warm you up
after a winter’s evening. With water and the amount varies according to taste things develop.
A few drops are needed here. There’s a creaminess arriving now, evident
sweetness flavoured by liquorice and jelly babies, a grassy note before a
slight peaty influence.
A mild finish rounds off what is a deceptive dram. A few
drops of water and the alcohol is tamed but I’m sure will sneak up on me later
on. Even by just removing that slight edge, this still remains a robust dram,
showcasing what whisky can do in its natural guise. I’d be really interested to
see how these casks develop as older releases.
Labels: 2001, Benromach, cask strength, review, taste, whisky