It’s not like we need an excuse to publish a review but hey, it’s Thursday and the weekend is in sight so why not use this paltry excuse to review the recently released Benromach 35 Year Old?
35 years is a lot of time and it means that it was distilled under the previous ownership around 1980 (or a tad earlier earlier), just a few years before the distillery was mothballed in 1983.
Since Benromach was revived by G&M at 1998, it means that an equivalent aged expression under GM& ownership (with different production methods, yeasts and barley variants), sometime around 2034, will be totally different animal. So how is this historic Benromach?
Nose: First impression: Glorious! Fresh and gentle sherried nose and it’s an impressive feat to have whisky matured in 1st fill sherry casks for such a long time and keep the freshness and not get over-sherried or over-oaked. What else is showing up here? Sugared oranges peels, leather and tobacco at the far end, a memory of smoke, over-sized cinnamon bun rolls. After a few minutes some spice is rising up, chips of nutmeg, a dash of pepper and oak wood spices, getting waxy and rounder with extra fruitiness to balance the sherry impact.
Palate: Sweet and spicy, much more spicy and sharper than the nose with sherry spices of nutmeg and cinnamon, honey ,fresh fruit mix and chocolate along with menthol toward the end.
Finish: Medium-long finish with sweet fruits and warm spices of cinnamon and gentle oak spices. Menthol and smoke also lingers here and it ends with oak wood dryness and the bitterness of unsugared orange peels.
Thoughts: As you can expect from G&M, It’s a fantastic whisky. It’s fairly complex and tasty with a dangerous finish that tempts you to have another dram. I even think it can be considered as whisky with a reasonable VFM as nowadays, in the days of inflated whisky prices, it’s not very often happens you can purchase 35+ year old whiskies for less than £500.