Benromach 15 (2015)
Distillery manager Keith Cruickshank hinted at the (then) upcoming release of the Benromach 15 when I visited the distillery back in February. I’ve been anticipating it ever since. Now that moment has finally arrived, the Benromach 15 is available in stores.
It is a very limited release. I don’t know how many bottles they’ve released exactly, but only 240 made it to The Netherlands. That should give you some indication of how limited this is. Most of the contents used for the Benromach 15 have probably been distilled in 2000 and 1999, shortly after the reopening. Nowadays they produce over 300.000 liters of alcohol every year, but back then that number was a lot lower. And plenty of the distillate from those years has no doubt been used for other releases as well. So Benromach simply wasn’t able to release the 15yo in high volumes.
Benromach 15yo (43%, OB)
Nose: Mild smoke and peat with oranges and vanilla. Some licorice and porridge with brown sugar and a bit of bacon. Mint and flatbread as well. Very similar to the Benromach 10yo, but a bit richer.
Taste: Pretty oaky and dry with a hint of peat smoke and pepper. Also a fruitier side with red apple, dates and plums. The whisky is lovely mouth coating.
Finish: Red apples and oranges. Smoke and tannins.
It is no secret that I’m a fan of Benromach. And the 15yo certainly is a step up from the regular 10yo. It’s a bit richer and has some more depth. On the other hand it is very similar. A higher percentage of sherry casks would’ve been a nice touch. Or maybe a higher ABV.
So what we’ve got here is a very good whisky. But if we’re being critical, it is also twice as expensive as their 10yo (in Europe that is, in the UK the difference is not nearly as big). And also 30 percent more expensive than their 100 Proof, which I prefer over the 15yo. And the 10yo also is a better value-for-money purchase.
But lets be clear: I bought two bottles of the Benromach 15yo and I don’t regret it at all. If you like Benromach, than you will not be disappointed by this newest release.
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.