First released in 2009 Benromach 10 year old is a marriage of 1st fill ex-bourbon casks (80%) and first fill ex-sherry casks (20%). The two aged independently for 9 years and then combined for a further year of maturation in ex-sherry once again. Bottled at 43%, this whisky has won numerous awards across a variety of global whisky competitions.
Nose: Starting with toffee-coated apples, this moves swiftly through some slightly unusual aromas – Crayola crayons, engine oil and plasticine/putty – before settling in to some traditional heathery smoke. This is supported by chocolate and oats as well as highly umami egg noodles. Ashy embers and slightly salty coastal air reinforce both smoke and maritime (which, this actually isn’t, but there you go). Tingles of grapefruit and citrus keep things just on the right side of fresh and bright.
Taste: Nicely mouth-coating with an arrival that expresses an array of fruitiness – apples, peaches, oranges and that grapefruit tartness again. Smoke envelops the entire palate, but doesn’t take over entirely (like any good support act) – heathery, wispy, almost slightly Campbeltown with its sense of murky pungency. In the mid to back palate, additional flavours – baked goods, surface cleaner and a sprinkle of freshly cut garden herbs.
Finish: Medium to long and with more emphasis on sherried characteristics now – sugar dusted mix berries and just a hint of minerality.
Arguably one of the greatest new entry level whiskies released this Century. Pound for pound (this can be purchased for less than £35 a bottle), there are very few malts that can best the level of quality offered by Benromach 10 year old. Balance, pronounced flavour and some old-school sensibilities. All-in-all, excellent.
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