Old old Benromach is rare. And I don’t mean last year’s Benromach Cask No 1, which is old Benromach indeed. No, I mean Benromach from before its closure in 1983, distilled under the old regime. It’s actually been a while (2016!) since I last tasted a pre-1983 Benromach, which was kindly shared with me by Juliette Buchan at the time.
Benromach came to the rescue though, when they sent me a sample of one of their latest Heritage releases – in this case a Benromach 1972, that has aged for over 46 years in a refill American oak hogshead. Only 75 decanters have been made available worldwide, but the abv has held up surprisingly well after such a prolonged maturation period.
I should note that this is one of the oldest Benromach whiskies ever released. As a Benromach nut (yes, I love Benromach maybe more than any other distillery), that’s pretty awesome that I’m in the position to taste this. Praise be, blessed be the fruit, etc.
Benromach 1972 46 Years Old (55.7%, OB, C#4471)
Nose: A proper amount of sandalwood with a touch of menthol, as well as warming spices such as cinnamon. There’s a whiff of beeswax and furniture polish, accompanied by triple sec and pickled lemon peel. Finally a faint note of stewed pears, and caramel glazed red apple. A drop of water brings out a hint of pralines. Taste: Nice creamy, oily mouthfeel. Very rich and mouth-watering. A sugary sweet arrival, with a good amount of old wood. Maybe a little too much? Cloves and nutmeg surface, as does a touch of aniseed, and orange marmalade as well. Water brings out cinnamon as well. Finish: A whiff of smoke, lingering oak and orchard fruits. Medium in length.
Just a tad too much oak on the palate to vault over that 90 point threshold. Love the complexity, but it would’ve benefited from a bit more balance. Very good whisky though, and I feel privileged to have tasted this.