The first whisky reviewed during the Benromach Extravaganza Weeks on Words of Whisky is the Benromach Centenary Edition. I love the packaging. It also gives us some information about the contents of the bottle. Firstly that it’s distilled in 1981 and has matured for 17 years. But the most interesting tidbit of information is regarding the sherry cask finish.
The final two years of maturation of this whisky were spent in sherry casks dating as far back as 1896, 1895 and 1891, before Benromach was founded even. That may sound cool, but really isn’t all that great. The casks used for the finish were old indeed, but that also means they were tired and probably didn’t do much in terms of enhancing the spirit.
Benromach 1981/1998 (43%, OB ‘Centenary Edition’, 3500 bts.)
Nose: Immediately some sherry sweetness (dried red fruit), but also vanilla, faint tobacco notes and a hint of cigar smoke. Some marshmallows, as well as oranges and mandarines. Taste: Leather, with brown sugar and dates. The sherry influence is cleary here, but subtle. Also some spices, with black pepper and cloves. It is pretty full bodied, especially considering its low abv. Finish: Mint and some light smoke. Drying.
This works well. The aroma’s and flavours are integrated, it is full-bodied and fairly complex. Maybe not the best Benromach has to offer, but certainly good enough to celebrate its centenary.