If you’re looking for really old Benromach (early seventies or even older) than you don’t have much choice. One of the options is the bottling featured in part six of my Benromach Extravaganza, which stems from 1970 and comes from the vast stocks of Gordon & MacPhail. It semi-regularly pops up on whisky auctions. There really isn’t much information about this whisky, neither on the label nor on the internet, other than the vintage and the year it was bottled.
Benromach 1970/1991 (40%, Gordon & MacPhail, ‘Old Map Label’)
Nose: It starts a bit dusty, but improves quite a lot after a while. Some raspberries, lemon and freshly squeezed oranges. A hint of brown sugar, smoke and tobacco leaves, some fudge and vanilla as well.
Taste: There’s definitely a touch of (peat) smoke here, as well as some furniture polish and leather. Lovely. Old school. Also cloves and nutmeg. I find a bit of fruitiness, but not much. Bitter oranges.
Finish: Menthol and tobacco. Some spices (nutmeg, cinnamon). Pretty long.
Such a delicate whisky, one to really spend time with. It’s really a treat to taste older bottlings like these, although I can’t help but wonder just how good this would’ve been at cask strength.
That issue about how good this would’ve been at cask strength (or 46% or so) is the most common complaint I hear about those Connoisseur’s Choice bottlings.
It also scares me a bit when trying to find whisky of some distilleries in auction. When it’s one of these, I generally skip it.
Totally agree. It’s always a concern when buying these. They sometimes go for relatively good prices, but that of course also has to do with the low strength. At a higher strength they would be out of our league anyway.