I’ve reviewed far too few Benromachs on the blog. As with some other distilleries, this is largely because there are very few Benromachs available from independent bottlers. In fact, while I haven’t looked it up, I suspect that the vast majority of indie Benromachs are from before Gordon & MacPhail purchased the distillery (in 1992) and brought it back online (in 1998). I guess when an independent bottler purchases a distillery, making their malt available to the competition is not high on their agenda. Then again, I am probably wrong and if so, I apologize to the good people at Gordon & Macphail for impugning their generosity.
This release, put together from seven first fill bourbon barrels, came out in 2010 and apparently hung around for a long time. It contains malt distilled in the G&M era.
By the way, the missus and I are scheduled to be in Edinburgh for work in early June, and after we’ll be going up to the Speyside for a few days with friends. I’m considering a visit to Benromach. Good idea? Bad idea?
Benromach 9, 2001 (59.9%; first fill bourbon barrels 87-91, 93-94; from a sample from a friend)
Nose: Malty, biscuity, gingery. Gets fruity quite soon with lemon and tart apple; some vanilla too. Just a bit of peppery, minerally peat (nothing phenolic) and then some mothballs. With water, more mothballs and some wax.
Palate: Wet wool and paper. Coal, tarmac, pepper, mineral oil, lemon zest. Nice, rich mouthfeel. Quite drinkable at full strength but will probably open up fully with water. Well, water eases the bite but doesn’t really bring out anything new. Still very good though.
Finish: Long. All the stuff from the palate hangs out getting saltier as it goes. Less salty with water.
Comments: Oh, this is nice. It is very Springbank/Longrow on the palate—in fact, blind, I probably would have guessed Springbank or maybe Kilkerran; on the nose I would have guessed Clynelish. No young whisky flaws. I think I preferred it without water (or maybe I added a few drops too many). Why the hell did I never get around to buying a bottle?
Rating: 87 points.
Thanks to Michael K. for the sample!