Rumour Mill: The End of the Benromach 10yo 100 Proof?
Rumour Mill is a section in which I’ll occasionally write about rumours or stories that are doing the rounds in the whisky industry. Rumours and stories that are substantial enough to be mentioned and discussed. Today’s topic: the Benromach 10yo 100 Proof will be discontinued.
In the past I’ve written about the GlenDronach 15, Talisker 10 and Longmorn 16. I’ve also brought you some hard news about the Glenlivet 12 and the Bruichladdich ‘Laddie’ 10. But it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these. Partly because there haven’t always been interesting rumours to write about, but also because I guess I didn’t always feel inspired to do so.
But when it comes to Benromach, I don’t need much inspiration. As you know (unless you’re a first time reader), I am an avid fan of Benromach. I’ve said it time and again, and I will keep saying it in the future. Benromach is making some of the best whisky in all of Scotland, and yes, I am including Springbank.
Yep, I went there. I’m not saying that Benromach is better than Springbank. I am saying that the Benromach 10 isn’t any less than the Springbank 10, and that the Benromach 15 can be equally as impressive as the Springbank 15. Or that the 10-year-old 100 Proof is Benromach’s answer to Springbank’s 12-year-old Cask Strength.
Anyway, I’m not here to just sing Benromach’s praises, even though I can’t help myself sometimes. I’m here to talk about the future of the aforementioned Benromach 10yo 100 Proof. Because as it turns out, it is about to be discontinued and replaced by a new Benromach expression.
Benromach Cask Strength
I no longer follow the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau’s Public Database as minutely as I once did. Labels of future releases are published in this database, and for whisky enthusiasts it is one of the best ways to find out about new releases before the fact. I used to do deep dives in the database, and I used to enjoy it.
Now I just keep an eye on Ruben’s excellent and quintessential blog, Whiskynotes. He publishes an overview of all new releases every weekend, and I believe that’s when I first read about the new Benromach Cask Strength. It was gone for a few years, but Benromach has decided to reboot it, now adding batch numbers.
The first batch is distilled in 2007, and bottled 11 or 12 years later at an impressive 58.2 percent. Most notably to me, is that the age is a few years higher than the old Cask Strength releases of years past. Including batch numbers seems like a really smart, cunning move. I for one will probably want to taste (and buy) every new batch.
Scratch the 100 Proof
So upon reading about the Benromach Cask Strength on Ruben’s blog, I naively never realised that it might have consequences for the core range of Benromach. It was first mentioned to me by a well-informed person on Facebook, during a discussion of the new Benromach 2010 Peat Smoke Sherry Cask, that the Cask Strength would replace the 100 Proof.
It came as somewhat of a shock, because the Benromach 10yo 100 Proof is very dear to me. Or at least as dear as a whisky can be. It is one of the few staples on my whisky shelf, and one of the few whiskies that have prompted me to buy multiple bottles at once. But before I even had time to do a little research myself to definitively confirm its discontinuation, Stuart Urquhart responded to the Facebook discussion.
For the uninitiated, the Urquharts own Gordon & MacPhail. Stuart Urquahart is Director of Operations at G&M, the company that also owns Benromach. So I’d say that, yes, he is a very credible source. He interjected and mentioned that indeed, the “100 proof has been replaced by a batch release cask strength.”
To me it’s kind of bittersweet. I welcome the return of the Benromach Cask Strength, but I rue the loss of the 100 Proof. I’m not sure yet if I want to squirrel away a few more bottles of the 100 Proof, or if I’ll simply replace it in my whisky diet with the new Cask Strength. The price of the new release will surely play a factor. I guess I have some thinking to do.
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.