I came across this one by complete chance. In case it’s not clear from the last few posts, I really love Benromach’s stuff, but there is no information on their website about this one, and it’s only available in some European markets. I was pleasantly surprised to see it, and very happy to see an age statement of 5 years so boldly slapped on a bottle. It was also quite cheap (around the 30 EUR mark when I bought it last July) so I figured I’d take a gamble and get it.
This one actually proved quite popular in the sample swapping communities on account of it being quite a little oddity. It was matured in a mix of bourbon and sherry casks like its older siblings, but was bottled at 40% and I’m guessing a higher ratio of bourbon casks here.
Aged 5 years. 40%ABV. No colourant added and non-chill filtered.
Nose: New make. Rich cereals and malt. Sweet peat. Lots of floral notes. Dry grass. Lemon zest. Brine. Under-ripe banana. Toffee. Honey & lemon tea. Boiled sweets. Vanilla. Bit of a woody note, very light.
Palate: Mineral peat and old ash. Dry wood. Salt. Surprisingly oily for 40% ABV. Lots of malty grain notes, but not new make. Some grassy notes. Bitter lemon. White pepper.
Finish: Medium. Salty and spicy (peppery spice). Herbal. Bit of toffee and some grass and cereal notes coming through.
Would I buy this: Yes
Would I order this in a bar: No
Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes
For what it is this whisky was surprisingly good. It wasn’t super complex and didn’t taste aged beyond its years, but it’s well balanced and refreshing. There was a bit of a new make note on the nose but after some glass time it faded away, and it was surprisingly oily in the mouth, more full-bodied than one would expect for 40% ABV, and there was definitely more peat present than the older expressions. If you like them young, try this.