Whisky Odyssey
Old-fashioned with a twist of the modern 

New batch Benromach cask strength – vintage 2013

 Heralded as a whisky distillery that honours the old way of making Speyside whisky (slightly smoky), the brand has a large following among whisky enthusiasts. Indeed the 10 Years Old is often mentioned as one of the best flagship malts out there, together with Springbank and Ben Nevis at the same age.

A personal note here is that I am the proud father of a daughter born in 2013. Last year, I decided to start collecting whisky made in 2013, or on occasion bottled in that year. One of the first bottles I bought for her collection, of which she will gain ownership when she turns 18, was this Benromach cask strength from said year. I put it on the shelf unopened, but by coincidence I found a sample of this in my delivery box when I purchased a bottle of whisky at Dramtime. A nice gesture by this retailer from the Dutch town of Musselkanaal. Of course, in the accompanying folder they ask if I will post about this on social media, but I hope they appreciate this blog instead.

Benromach 2013 – 2023 cask strength, batch 01, at 59,7 % abv

Makeup: This first batch of the 2013 vintage consists of an unknown amount of bottles but we do know it is a vatting of first fill bourbon and first fill sherry casks. Natural colour, non-chill filtered. At the time of publishing this blog, I believe there is already a 2014 vintage out.

General impressions: We won’t stick our nose in too deep in the glass, with this fierce abv, but we instantly get a mineral, earthy impression. Subtle smoke plays well with the darker sherry tones. All comes off very rich and mature. One could mistake it for a malt twice the age.
We take a sip undiluted first. The taste is dry and much on wood, smoke and chocolate. The signature of the sherry casks is felt really well, but also impressively balanced with a good, steady basis provided by the more regular bourbon casks. This goes down almost too easy, even without water. For the sake of dissecting it further, we add a good splash, just to see how it swims. On the nose you get a more rubbery note, which might put people off, but I think it is just a fine balance. Dry earth on your hands after gardening in Summer. The taste gets juicier and brings a sweetness that relates more to Speyside, while undiluted you could truly mistake this Benromach for a Campbeltown malt. Yes, seriously.

Conclusion: Mighty impressed by this effort, a style that is unique outside of Campbeltown, but Benromach has loads of it. The balance between the casks used makes for a perfect marriage. If you love ‘bang for your buck’ whisky, this should be your go-to bottle. Highly recommended.

Score: 88 points

Disclaimer: included as a random free sample after buying a bottle of whisky at Dramtime.

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