Ah, Benromach, the Springbank of the Highlands!
Gordon & MacPhail took the reins in 1998, unmothballing the distillery into its current form. They decided they wanted to produce a robust, traditional, slightly peated whisky that has real character and I think they’ve really succeeded in that.
For some reason I’m always slightly surprised when I taste Benromach and realise how good it is and how consistently good it is too. For me, its almost always scored in the 75-80 range.
Benromach 2006 Single Cask 59.1%
Colour: Light Gold
Nose: Lemon and creamy vanilla at first. Then I am reminded more and more of a Springbank Local Barley. More smoke and mineral than I would expect, funky with banana and nice Terpenes-petrol and whiteboard markers. Roasted nuts too.
Taste: Nice soft arrival, great transition into a dry development, refill wood (despite it being 1st fill), banana, yellow apple, dry spice, ginger and some minerality.
Finish: Medium/Long length. More yellow apple and subtle minerality. More like an unpeated Caol Ila here.
Bottled 2018 for Germany. Not as good with water. Very surprised by the amount of smoke to this, I expected less.
Benromach 1998 20th Anniversary 56.2%
Colour: Light Amber
Nose: Intense red apple, old oak, ethereal and very old whisky-like, a few ashes, cherry lip sweets as it opens up. Very elegant and complex nose that speaks more of 40 years in a cask, not 20! More smoky as it opens up with a delicious creamy strawberry.
Taste: Salty arrival then juicy red fruit, intense, sour cherry, black pepper, intense oak and spice to back it, clove, some smoke into the finish. Red apple.
Finish: Medium/Long length. Dry here, more of the oak and spices, ginger and black pepper. A little very dark chocolate at the end.
Bottled 2018 at 19yo. Quite dry and oaky, really could be 40 years old. Love the nose, but the clove and oak feel a little overwhelming on the taste.
Thanks for reading!
Scotch Reviews #743-#744
Whisky Network Reviews #881-#882
Network Average: 75.1
Best Score: 94
Worst Score: 12
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
75-79 Very Good
Full Disclosure Disclaimer: I currently work as a Brand Ambassador for Penderyn Distillery. The views expressed here are purely my own and do not reflect the views of Penderyn Distillery or The Welsh Whisky Company. I try to maintain as much objectivity as I can but feel free to take my reviews with as big a pinch of salt as you like. Furthermore, my rating scale is NOT based on a Parker type wine scoring scale or a school/college/university % or A-F grade score. You can find more on my scoring here. I apologise for any seemly low or 'bad' scores given with my system and I am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and I am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.