Earlier, well, more than two years ago I reviewed a very nice old-looking 18yo Benromach that was bottled around 2003. As we all know, Benromach today is owned by Gordon & MacPhail. Th Distillery was bought in 1993 from United Distillers, which became Diageo in 2002. Benromach itself is a big success. A lot of it is sold around the world with sales figures soaring. Two new warehouses were built to double the storage capacity, and because of the success an extra distiller was hired. Benromach is unique in bottling almost everything as a Single Malt. In 2014 the range got cleaned up (f.i. no more Origins, and the Traditional has been replaced by the 5yo, yes an age statement ladies and gentlemen!) and revamped. This 10yo is the revamped version. The new 100 proof version is replacing the Cask Strength version. This however is a bit of a shame since I believe the Cask Strength versions were exclusively from First Fill Bourbon Casks and I don’t believe the 100 proof to be like that. So get one of those while you can (I did)! This 10yo was made with 80% Bourbon casks, 20% Sherry casks and was finished for a year in Oloroso Sherry casks.
Color: Light gold, apricot.
Nose: Malty, sweetish and a hint of smoke. Yes a nice combination and very appetizing. Some peat and clay. White pepper and a hint of pencil shavings. Altogether very modern smelling. Nothing like the old days, but very nice nevertheless. Vegetal and some sort of salty and smoky vanilla. Sugared yellow fruits and the inside of a sweet red apple, but always mixed with some smoke Dried pineapple, dried apricots with a nice hint of oak and biscuits. Excellent nose.
Taste: Sweet and malty with some peaty and smoky bitterness, but in no way overpowering. Vanilla and custard with matching sugary sweetness balanced with a hint of some nice oaky bitterness. Cardboard and crushed beetle. Yellow fruit syrup. Passion fruit and maracuja. Definitely some peat. Smoked mackerel. The finish is lasting, clean peat and a slightly bitter oak. Very well made, ABV seems just about right.
Intriguing stuff this is, and it may not be for novices, lots of other versions of Benromach around for that. This one is very well made and definitely should have your attention. I tasted a lot of G&M versions of Benromach and they never disappoint, nor did the older expressions when I come to think of it. I will most certainly have a go at other Benromachs on these pages soon. Especially the 100 proof should be interesting now. Good value for money and highly recommended. Don’t let the quality slip guys!