Benromach Cask Strength Vintage 2008 Batch 1 is the latest release from the G&M owned Speyside distillery and is the first in the series of batches that replaces Benromach 100° Proof on Benromach classic range.
The batches should retain similar age and flavours profile to the 100° Proof but the batch system will allow the distillery to retain subtle variations in strength and flavours.
This first batch has 5,500 bottles, from mix of First-Fill Sherry and Bourbon casks and bottled at cask strength of 57.9%
I have some long history with Benromach 100° Proof as detailed here (with the result being me having 2 bottles in my whisky cabinet), so naturally I was very keen to try it and see what have they done with it and how similar are they.
Nose: Thick sherry influence with dark sweet chocolate, roasted coffee beans and cinnamon. Then the earthy peat shows up followed by subtle dried fruit: plums, dates and some dark red berries. Very heavy nose. With a few (and then a few more) drops of water – still pretty much chocolaty, but it’s not so thick and clogging, fruitier and with subtle peat smoke.
Palate: Peat on the front, with chocolate riding shotgun, then dried fruits sweetness, cinnamon and coffee along with signs of spicy red berries. With water: spicier, less chocolate, peat, oak spices, pepper and gentle dried fruit in the background
Finish: Medium length, heavy with chocolate, peat and spicy berries. With water: spicier, also white pepper and red berries.
Thoughts: It’s a very Benromach-y whisky with gentle peat and fruitiness. But it also differs a bit from the 100° Proof I have with far more chocolate and less fruitiness from the sherry casks here. Not that there’s anything wrong about it – It’s a good sherry bomb (even if there are bourbon casks in the mix).