Review: Benromach Cask Strength / by Jason Hambrey

Benromach Cask Strength 2.jpg
10 Years; First fill sherry and bourbon casks
100% Malted Barley
Distiller Benromach (Forres, Scotland)

I quite enjoy the various Benromachs that I’ve been able to encounter over the past few years. This, one, too, is worth seeking out - an amped up version of the distillery profile, incorporating only first fill ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks.

Review (2020)

  • Batch: 1 (bottled 2019, distilled 2008)

  • Bottling Code: 15/01/19 8176803259

  • Bottling Date: 2019

The nose has a really nice sharp smokiness to it, but also lots of spice and dried fruit. Rich sherry, and that combined with the smoke gives this sort of impression of eating fruitcake around a campfire. But more here too – a bit of beeswax, oranges, toffee, nutmeg, vanilla, raisins, with some of the sweeter and softer elements – like vanilla, chestnut, and maltiness - coming out with time to lighten up the nose. It’s a nice movement, a bit dense and sharp to rounded and broad. I do love noses that really open up.

The palate is loaded with smoke, vanilla, oat cakes, sherry, citrus peel, and spice. Fruitcake notes – easy to find, and the sherry really controls the finish with just a touch of smoke. Spiciness really comes out on the palate. The finish is sweeter than the palate, and is just full of sticky sherry, tobacco, and a touch of molasses. Quite bright sherry on the palate – still big with dried fruit, but on the brighter, as opposed to the heavier, sherry notes.

Highly Recommended (50% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher). It’s hard to find whiskies which combine so many different, weighty, elements together – smoke, sherry, and malt.

Value: Average, at $115.