The highly respected Benromach 10 Year Old is now joined by an older brother, Benromach 15 Year Old. Alongside the 10yo 100° Proof, the 5 Year Old, the Organic and Peat Smoke expressions, Benromach basically launched an entirely new core range in under a year!
While the 10 Years had 80% bourbon and 20% sherry casks, the 15 Years was predominantly matured in sherry casks, some of which have been heavily charred. Longer maturation means the smokiness of the 10 should be muted a little, while the (sherry) wood brought out different aromas.
Benromach 15 yo (43%, OB 2015)
Nose: clearly the same family as the 10, just a bit more juicy and sherried. More Fino-style than Oloroso-style, with some walnut and chamomile notes. It also has the stewed fruitiness, the old-style dustiness and leathery notes. Tiny hints of earthy smoke. Some figs and candied ginger. Waxed paper too, although I find the 10 waxier (and that’s one of the reasons why I like it so much).
Mouth: again a mix of austere elements (walnuts, apple skin, some bitterness) and roundness (plums, cocoa and subtle dried fruits). A mentholated freshness, some vanilla and pepper.
Finish: long, with orange zest, cocoa and pepper.
This is excellent, highly singular whisky again. Its takes the 1960s style of the 10yo into sherry territories. When I’m forced to choose, I still think Benromach 10 is hard to beat, especially at half the price. Available from Master of Malt or The Whisky Exchange among others.