As I mentioned in the report of my distillery visit of Benromach, the best part about the visit was the tasting. I didn’t book the standard tour, but the Discovery Tour, which is new for 2014. You pay £30, for which you get very nice tour and an even better tasting of five drams. This is part one of the tasting, in which I post my findings on three newer Benromach expressions. I’ll post part two tomorrow, with notes on two oldies that were distilled long before the Gordon & MacPhail takeover.
Benromach Organic (43%, virgin American oak)
Nose: Plenty of vanilla and fruit like green apple. Also hay, grass, cornflakes and some obvious oak from the virgin cask. Nice and fresh. Taste: Very creamy and oily, more so than the other new Benromach expressions. I like. Malty with some mint notes. Also a bit of sweetness and nuts. Finish: Medium finish, a bit dry with some honey and toffee.
Benromach 10yo (43%, bourbon/sherry casks)
Nose: Sharper nose than the Organic. The sherry influence is obvious with some faint chocolate and dried fruits. But there’s is also some green apple in the background, along with some spices and a tiny bit of peat smoke. Taste: Lot of barley accompanied by raspberries and a bit of ginger. Not as smooth as I hoped for. Finish: Nice medium finish. Influenced by the sherry casks to go with some delicate peat smoke.
Benromach 2002/2012 CS (60,3%, first fill bourbon)
Nose: Very fresh with a hint of smoke. Vanilla, barley, citrus and pineapple make for a lovely smell. Taste: Black pepper, a bit of saltiness and again that freshness, now with some more green fruits. Finish: Nice peppery finish with some zest. Slowly fades away.
The 10 gets the highest rating, but I actually bought the Organic. Why? It’s just different, in a good way. It’s five to seven years old (depending on which batch you get), but it’s packed with flavour from those virgin casks.