Gordon & MacPhail caused quite a stir when relaunched the Benromach 10 Years back in 2014 – check my review. They revived the distillery around 2000 and the new 10 became a benchmark for a modern interpretation of a pre-1960s Speyside whisky, with a pleasantly old-school character, including some phenolic hints and elegant sherry.
A few months ago they changed the presentation, which caused a stir again but not in the same way. It may have increased visibility on the shelf, but most agreed it was a slightly strange visual identity for this kind of whisky.
Anyway it’s time to try the latest batch of the Benromach 10 Years.
Benromach 10 yo (43%, OB 2020)
Nose: still excellent and consistent with the old presentation. Oily notes up front, beeswax, old books and a hint of diesel, then sweeter fruity notes (stewed apple, light peaches). A hint of leather and plasticine. Very soft ashes in the background, hardly noticeable.
Mouth: quite smooth, with elegant smoke, oranges and herbal honey. Hints of eucalyptus and mint. Some crushed peppercorns. Plummy sweetness but also dried nuts and liquorice. Still this subtle dustiness – really nice.
Finish: quite long, with fruity notes and smoked malty notes, alongside minerals.
This could be even better at 46% ABV (hint, hint) but it’s perfectly fine as it is. Still a rather unique profile, one of the basic must-have bottles for whisky lovers, regardless of their level of experience. Around € 40 from The Whisky Exchange for instance, most other retailers still seem to have the old presentation. Also as a 3cl sample.