In our glass today is a single cask Benromach 2010 exclusive to Abbey Whisky in the UK. In around 15 years they grew from a small online shop to one of the big retailers winning awards for their e-commerce. This also means they have a steady stream of exclusive bottlings, some of which we will feature here.
You may remember a sister cask #390 bottled for The Whisky Exchange, which I reviewed already. Both first fill bourbon barrels.
Benromach 11 yo 2010 (58,2%, OB for Abbey Whisky 2021, first fill bourbon cask #388, 228 btl.)
Nose: mainlead peat coupled to an assertive style of bourbon wood. Hay, barley sugars and vanilla cake, mixed with coal smoke and mentholated notes. Then plenty of earthy and leafy notes, as well as a hint of burnt plastic (not necessarily a bad thing). Grasses and salt too. Something sweet and fruity is hiding in the background (peach, maybe barbecued pineapple) but it fails to really stand out.
Mouth: very punchy and rather oily, with a bittersweet theme. On the one hand there’s vanilla, pineapple and lime, on the other hand we get the bitterness of herbs and liquorice roots. Medicinal touches, as well as some scorched wood and cigarette smoke, saline hints and chalk. Some mustardy notes and bitter marmalade too. A tad austere perhaps, which I also wrote about the sister cask.
Finish: long, on lemon peels, salt and mineral notes. Lingering (acrid) smoke until the end.
A really characterful dram, with light peat and echoes of Springbank and Ben Nevis at times, including the funky side they can expose. Tasty but maybe not as clean and focused as these other distilleries. Only available from Abbey Whisky.