Independent bottlings of Benromach are extremely rare. In the last ten years we’ve seen less than a handful. Gordon & MacPhail (the owners) is very protective of their brand, and aren’t looking to sell to independent bottlers. And while in the past they sometimes released independent bottlings of Benromach themselves, they haven’t done so since 2003 (as far as I could check).
Actually, in the last ten years there have only been two independent Benromach-releases. One modern Benromach 1999 by the Creative Whisky Company, and one 38 year old from 1976 by Cadenhead. Cadenhead has actually released several Benromach from 1976, one of which I’ll review today as part eight of my Benromach Extravaganza. This one though has been bottled a long time ago, way back in 1997, making it ‘only’ 20 years old.
There aren’t many specifics for this bottling. According to the label it has matured in an oak cask, which could mean anything. But going of the nose and palate that cask previously held bourbon.
Nose: Fruity and creamy. Surprisingly mellow for its high abv. Hints of coconut milk and a touch of burlap. But mainly tropical and/or stone fruits. Nectarine, pineapple. Taste: Very, very oily. Lovely mouthcoating. Lots of minerals. Peppery, with ginger as well, but then flavours of galia melon and grapefruit. Powerfull stuff. Finish: Peppery. But also chalk, mint and some lemon. Long.
A somewhat challenging whisky, in the best sense of the word, because that way it manages to stay interesting. Fruits, minerals. Very oily. Those ingredients make for a very good whisky.