So we’re coming off three raving reviews on the Benromach 5, 10 and the 10 Year Old 100 Proof. I’ll recap them by saying that the 5 year old (reviewed here) is an excellent dram, is age stated and fairly priced with a depth of flavor and an excellent finish (especially if you like bitter notes). Both the 10 year olds (reviewed here and the 100 Proof here) are crackers that hit all the right notes.
Recently, a new 15 year old hit the market and I’ll complete my review of Benromach’s revamped core range with a review of it.
Now this is an entirely different beast to the 10 year old. Mostly sherry matured whisky, some of it in heavily charred casks, which would impart an extra softness to the whisky, and much softer peat due to the longer maturation, this is a much more classic soft and gentle Speysider. I want to be clear about one thing – this is excellent whisky. It’s well crafted, well made and very drinkable. So now you’re expecting a “but” and you’re right: But it’s not the 10 year old. I think the best way to describe it is “less intense”. Not as peaty, not as sweet and not as spicy as the 10 year old. This is a softer, gentler very sherried whisky, aimed at a more “traditional Speyside” whisky drinker. It has its very own character in the lineup.
Benromach 15 Year Old (43% ABV, NCF, NC)
Appearance: Bronze, legs are quick with residue remaining on the glass, and slower legs roll down from residual droplets.
Nose: First thing you notice is the relative lack of peat compared to the 10 year old. There’s a lot of sherry, hints of cherry soda, coconut and a very light peat which appears in the background. As it opens up, the sherry asserts itself with fino like notes, so definitely not very sweet.
Palate: Not as sweet as the 10s, with some bitterness straight up, there’s pepper, but it’s not as spicy as the 10. This is a soft dram that’s very gentle on the palate. Definitely a sipper.
Linger: Sweet notes on the tongue, very light spice high in the back of the throat, tangy – borderline bitter – sherry notes in a short to medium finish.
Whoa, only five years of maturation separate the Benromach 10 and the 15, but it seems more like two decades .
This is a whole different profile of whisky. Much less intense, it’s rather gentle, bordering timid. Great whisky, but not groundbreaking.
Is it possible that a higher ABV would turn on the headlights on this one? I’d love to try this one at 48%….
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