Benromach already had a Peat Smoke expression, made using barley malted with high levels of peat smoke at 55 ppm phenols. Since a few years there was also a Sherry Cask Matured version which is aged exclusively in first-fill Oloroso hogsheads.
Just now the latest vintage Benromach Peat Smoke Sherry 2012 has been given the same makeover as the rest of the range, with straighter bottles and bold, red lettering.
Benromach Contrasts: Peat Smoke – Sherry Cask Matured 2012 (46%, OB 2021)
Nose: oh yes, rather enticing because the smoke has this deep, sooty coal dust with echoes of a cold barbecue, but also a nice sourness of rice vinegar (which fades). Italian speck. Pimentón de la Vera. Burnt heather and engine oil. Chipotles and miso. Pencil lead. The savoury notes are mixed with blackberry jam and roasted apricots. Toffee coated nuts, cinnamon and chocolate. Really nice.
Mouth: oily, quite smoky again too, with meaty notes and a hint of rubber on the side. This leads to brown sugar, dark berries and hints of leather. Hints of gravel and charcoal. Still some toffee and chocolate. Some grilled pineapple in the background. Fades on coffee with hints of tobacco leafs.
Finish: medium length, really ashy, with some sherry sweetness (toffee, mulled wine), but loosing strength quite rapidly.
I love the full smoke and sooty nose but while the palate continues on similar aromas, I don’t understand why they brought this down to 46%, as its predecessor was bottled at cask strength? It’s a great composition and a very drinkable dram, but there’s still room for a cask strength version. Available from The Whisky Exchange or TyndrumWhisky for instance.