I realize it’s the first Benromach I’ll be covering here on More Drams. And that I don’t even own a bottle of Benromach even though they produce some very good whisky. I visited the Gordon & Macphail-owned distillery back in 2019 during Spirit of Speyside festival. It was the closest distillery from where I was staying, as I had rented a house with friends in Forres for our stay for Spirit of Speyside. I remember having a very good time at the distillery. I regret we were not allowed to take pictures inside for safety reasons. I remember they did everything by hand, at the opposite of some other distilleries I’ve visited where everything was computer-controlled. And that even though our days were filled with whisky already, the bottle of Benromach 10 at our disposal in the rented house took quite a hit during our stay! We’ll come back at some point for a core range review, but not today. Today, we introduce this distillery with this Benromach 2011 Single Cask selected and bottled for LMDW.
Benromach 2011 Single Cask for LMDW Review
Our whisky today is a Benromach distilled on the 24 January 2011 (great day!) and filled into cask #37, a first-fill sherry hogshead. It matured patiently there until being selected by La Maison Du Whisky and bottled on the 30th of June 2021 at the age of 10. 311 bottles were filled at 60.1% from that cask, without chill filtration nor colouring. Sold out at LMDW themselves, but still available and on offer (at the time of writing) at less than €100 at Prestige Whisky or Bacchus & Tradition for instance, or €117 at Les Grands Alambics.
Neat: Starts on gentle and light peat with leather and tobacco leaves. Crushed almonds and hazelnuts, spices like nutmeg and cinnamon, but also vanilla and some lightly smoked meaty notes.
With water: light touches of inner tube, and something mineral appears, flint maybe? Maybe even flint after some sparks.
Neat: The high abv doesn’t burn your tongue and the arrival is thick, slightly dry, with a soft wood bitterness, but also charcoal and ground roasted coffee beans. A bit herbaceous, the palate also has bitter orange and the ashy smoke of a dying wood fire. Traces of vanilla and some blackcurrant.
With water: some grapefruit juice bring a fresh sourness, as well as a pinch of salt and sour candies.
The light wood bitterness lingers with roasted malt and smoked Jaffa cakes (light on the orange, and very dark chocolate), good length.
You wouldn’t guess the ABV as, when neat, both the nose and the palate are really easy going. No burn at all. I’d say the sherry might be oloroso by the flavours but the dryness is quite low even though it was a first fill sherry hogshead. I don’t have the sweetness then spice kick I usually get from a PX finished or matured whisky, so my guess is on oloroso. Both nose and palate are pleasant when neat and with water, but I must admit I’m not sure I prefer it with or without water. Maybe neat. And the ABV doesn’t fill that high. In the end this whisky is quite classical, but really nice. Grab a bottle of it if you can get it on offer, maybe not at its full price.