Benromach 19yo Port Wood Finish (2003)
For part four of my Benromach Extravaganza we examine a port finished whisky. Finishing a whisky in a port cask is a practice that not everyone appreciates. Benromach has released quite a few of this type of whisky, one of them being the 19 year old Port Wood Finish that was released around 2003. But this is not your ordinary port finished whisky. What sets it apart is that the first sixteen years of its maturation weren’t spend in ex-bourbon casks, as is usually the case, but rather in ex-sherry casks.
Benromach 19yo Port Wood Finish (45%, OB, +/- 2003)
Nose: Inviting and warming, with a fair amount of nuttiness, but the sweetness from the port finish wins. Cherry syrup, oranges, raisins. Milk chocolate as well. It’s well-balanced, maybe a bit thin.
Taste: Fruity and spicy. Cloves and a touch of pepper, but also raspberries and oranges. Slightly leathery, with a hint of peat smoke. A bit dry.
Finish: The tobacco really moves to the forefront in the finish. A touch of menthol as well. Ends on a sweeter note.
The port cask finish works surprisingly well, adding some fruitier notes to what I expect would otherwise be a tad too dry of a whisky.
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.