Last night, I took part in my second Benromach Tweet Tasting. My first was last summer and involved the 10 and 15 year old expressions from the distillery’s core range. Both drams were also out in force last night, alongside its most recent release – a stonking 35 year old!
It was great to sit down with both the 10 and 15 year old again, to see how both they and my palate had changed over the past eight months or so. Well, the 10 year old is just a creamy as it was, and despite the smoke promised, it’s still absent from the nose. But on the palate, the smoke finally emerges, along with lots of dried fruit, whilst maintaining that creamy texture. Interestingly, when I last taste it, I detected a hint of salt and it seems to still be present.
The 15 year old was as I remembered as well – deeper than the 10, with an amplified sherry-ness. Again, the smoke is absent from the nose, but this time round, I detected a slight hint of menthol as well. The warming smoke then develops on the palate and it’s not as sweet as the nose suggests, with more nutty and malty notes.
The 35 year old was the star of the night though. The distillery’s rarest expression to date, the liquid dates back to a time before Benromach was restored by Gordon and MacPhail in the 1990s. I received the sample two weeks prior to the tasting, and from the moment I first smelt it, I knew it was a goodun.
The nose has a really deep and rich flavour, but it’s not overwhelming; being balanced off by a low ABV for a whisky of its age. As expected, loads of spice and fruit on the nose, with a distinct honey flavour emerging if left for 10 minutes or so. The palate is extremely smooth, and filled with spices – nutmeg and cinnamon – and lots of orange. The only disappointment was that the finish was slightly shorter than I’d have expected from a dram of this age and flavour profile.
A great evening spent with a great distillery and I’d encourage you to seek out the three drams before, along with the rest of Benromach’s range.