Like many of the reborn distilleries of recent years, we need to talk about their recent offerings, which usually means 12 YO or less. Benromach is not exception. So, let's talk about the recent 10 YO as an examplar of the revitalized spirit.
First, this is a solid Speyside dram, with all that this entials. It should be noted that this is a Sherried Whisky, but with a very light touch. All of the Whisky has been aged nine yeas in 80% Bourbon casks and 20% Sherry casks. Then all of that Whisky is vatted, then aged one additional year in 100% Sherry casks.
Why? Because they said so, that's why (obviously they are going for a particualr flavor profile). When you sip it you will find a lot of "outdoorsy" flavors, including grass, fresh herbs, malt, and ginger. On the palate the bittersweet taste of dark chocolate jumps out at you first, followed by the dread apricots and prune.
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For Gordon & MacPhail, Benromach is a lobor of love. They have been running their independent bottling business for over 115 years. They purchased Benromach after issuing several of their private releases from there. They continue to invest heavily in this, their one and only distillery.
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Benromach is one of the easier distilleries to get to since it sits on the banks of the Burn of Mosset, right off Route A96. It is technically in the Speyside district, but in the far northwestern corner by the sea, miles from the River Spey, and just feet from the River Findhorn in the Highlands.
Duncan MacCallum was working at Glen Nevis Distillery, and F. W. Brickmann was a spirits broker in Edinburgh. They got together in 1898 and founded Benromach Distillery Company. Of course, students of Whisky history will instantly recognize how terrible that timing was, just at the start of the Great Whisky Recession.
They opened and closed their doors in the same year -- 1900. Harvey McNair & Co. purchased the facility in 1911, and returned it to full production. In the years since, the distillery has closed and re-opened several times as it changed ownership, faced world wars, and tried to modernize.
In 1993, they were purchased by Gorndon and MacPail -- an independent bottler that was turning their cash-flow into production ownership, and notable single malts. The label was successfully relaunched once again, with an official ribbon-cutting by HRH Charles, the Prince of Wales in 2004.
Boom... ten years later, with the first release of the new single malt, the accolades and awards begin-- including a "Best Speyside Single Malt - 12 Years and Under" at the World Whisky Awards in 2014.
Benromach is decidedly low-volume. If they pulled out all the stops and cranked everything up, they would max out at less than 250,000 liters. But they are just getting started again, and are nowhere near that level now.
CountryUnited Kingdom, Scotland
OwnerGordon & MacPhail
No. of stills1 wash, 1 spirit
AddressBenromach Distillery, Invererne Rd, Forres, IV36 3EB, United Kingdom