A mysterious box showed up this past week. I finally got the courage (and time) to open it up this morning.
Inside was a dossier, 2 tasting glasses, a very cool memory card and best of all…a bottle of the newly released Benromach 10 year old whisky.
More on the package in a bit, but first a little history on the Benromach distillery:
Purchased by Gordon & MacPhail in 1993, the Benromach distillery was not immediately ready to move into production:
“An opportunity to buy Benromach Distillery presented itself and we grabbed it with both hands!” says Ian Urquhart.
“But when we purchased Benromach there wasn’t a great deal left behind by the previous owners,” adds David Urquhart, Ian’s younger brother. “Indeed the buildings, spirit receiver, wood from the larch wash backs and the distilleries distinctive near 100-foot chimney, were virtually the only things remaining.”
“Before beginning the project of re-equipping the distillery we carefully considered the amount and indeed style of single malt we wished to produce. This involved a great deal of planning and research before we started,” continues Ian.
Re-equipping Benromach, Speyside’s smallest distillery, really did not begin until December 1997.
A new look, airy mill room was constructed – complete with a reconditioned Bobby Mill, dating from approximately 1913. A new, neat semi-lauter mash tun was added and much of the wood from the old wash backs was reconstituted to build four new wash backs. New stills, which were of a size and shape new to Benromach, were commissioned.
“We carefully considered the style and character of whisky we wished to produce at Benromach,” says Michael. “We wanted to create a new make spirit full of character, suitable for maturing for long periods of time. There was a fair bit of experimentation and research to determine optimum barley varieties, peating levels and fermentation times.”
After five long years of redesign and refitting, Benromach new make was produced on August 10 1998. “It was a very, very exciting moment,” remembers Ian. “For over 100 years our family wished to own and manage a distillery – this was the moment when we could finally call ourselves distillers.” Later that year on the 22nd of October, HRH Prince Charles officially opened Benromach, exactly 100 years after the original founding of the Benromach Distillery Company.
Commenting on the release of Benromach 10 Years Old, Michael Urquhart, Joint Managing Director of Gordon & MacPhail, said: “This is a milestone for us – our family have been whisky specialists for generations, so to finally unveil our own ten-year-old single malt is the fulfilment of a dream. We think that Benromach 10 Years Old displays a big taste from a tiny distillery and we hope that people will enjoy our whisky as much as we do – and share the secret of Benromach with fellow whisky-lovers.”
So what does the Benromach 10 taste like?
Nose: Speyside-ish Malty Vanilla and light florals
Taste: At first the sherry sweetness takes center stage, but the rich malt – well rounded – quickly comes into play. The grain undertones are solid and fresh. Undiluted, there’s just a touch of smoke at first, but the smoke lingers in the finish. Adding a little bit of water makes the initial smoke pop. The smoke seems to lingers forever, while the sweetness comes and goes – and once that smoke subsides there’s a graininess that lingers for just a bit more.
Benromach 10 Year Old
Speyside Single Malt
The secret is out.
I like it. Give it a whirl.
Post Script: Yeah. I have a Zebra Skin rug in my tasting room. Chicks dig it.