Whisky Review: Benromach 15 Years Old
- Speyside single malt scotch whisky
- 43% ABV,
- £49.95 for 70cl
- Score: 88/100
What they say:
A notable new addition to the Benromach stable of classic Speyside single malt whiskies has gone on sale. Benromach 15 Years Old has a distinctive golden amber colour thanks to long maturation in sherry and bourbon casks and a soft smokiness. It tastes of luscious sherry and rich fruitcake with stewed plums and a hint of cocoa. Launched by the Benromach Distillery Company Ltd, the 15 Years Old is available now with a RSP of £48.99 (prices may vary in export markets because of duty and import taxes). As with all Benromach whiskies, the 15 Years Old is hand-crafted by just three distillers using the finest natural ingredients at the Forres distillery.
Benromach was bought over by Gordon & MacPhail in 1993 and carefully restored. It opened once again in 1998 by HRH Prince Charles and has since gained a reputation for producing an innovative range of distinctive Speyside whiskies with pre-1960s character. Ewen Mackintosh, Chief Operating Officer of Gordon & MacPhail which owns the Benromach Distillery Company Ltd, said: “The Benromach story is a remarkable one, and the launch of the 15 Years Old marks a significant milestone in the distillery’s history.
“The whisky has a great deal of character and we hope it will appeal to whisky lovers who have tried other Benromach single malts and to those who would like to see what a classic pre-1960s Speyside malt is like.”
The packaging for Benromach 15 Years Old adopts the same design principles as the 10 Years Old, with the addition of gold effect detailing to highlight the premium nature of the product. The bottle style and packaging reflects the hand-crafted character of the Benromach whiskies. The elegant bottle’s neck and shoulder resembles the shape of the Benromach stills while the box, complete with embossed hand-drawn lettering, replicates their colour.
Pour yourself a dram of Benromach 15 Years Old. Lift it to the light and note the especially golden amber colour, thanks to the long maturation in sherry and bourbon casks. Now swill it around your glass and take a few little inhalations to savour the AROMA WITHOUT WATER… there’s a lot going on… beautifully balanced sherry aromas with vanilla pod, zesty orange and spicy ginger complemented by delicate chamomile and menthol notes. Now sip your dram, roll the whisky around your mouth and enjoy the TASTE WITHOUT WATER… there’s luscious, rich fruit cake with stewed plum, red apple skin and the sharp edge of kiwi fruit. Next, take in the AROMA WITH WATER… the whisky shifts into another gear with subtle hints of cocoa, nutmeg and cinnamon giving way to sweet honey notes and hints of bonfire embers. Add a drop or two of water to release the full TASTE WITH WATER… it’s a very satisfying palate with traces of charred oak complementing sweet tangerine, plum and nectarines… completed by a gorgeous touch of milk chocolate. Tell us what you think.
The longer maturation softens its smokiness to hints of charred smoke while developing the wood imbued character of succulent honey, vanilla and fruit.
What I say:
Benromach… 15 Years Old… nuff said, had to try this one and another bottle purchased to share amongst my many Benromach-loving whisky friends. This one actually generated a froth of excitement amongst some of them!
Rich orange amber (12/20) medium sized semi-quick droplet tears leaving light trails
Sherry, leather, sherbet fizz, musty and dusty dunnage warehouses, ageing oak barrels, zesty orange oil, coffe and cocoa, milk chocolate, chalky fruit pastilles (back to dulce de fruta again or Pez?) and milled malted barley flour, sherry trifle, creamy, sweet and fruity, hint of smoke (like someone smoking a cigarette somewhere in the room), deep treacle toffee, some peat and heather brush fire hints
Rich, oily, chocolate and cocoa, like molten milk chocolate coating the mouth, almonds and marzipan, some tingly spice like cayenne pepper or a touch of smoked paprika, chorizo sausage, sherry trifle, treacle toffee, treacle and molasses, parkin cake (oatmeal and treacle), antique oak wood, a little like bonfire night.
Long, toffee, fruity orange zest, mocha coffee, becomes almost savoury with a hint of smoke
Quite zesty and lively, a gentle sherry and peat influence as usual in this characteristically Benromach expression. I really like the old and dusty nature of this expression and could swear at one point the air was filled with fine barley flour. Plenty to get excited about!