A few months ago I was lucky enough to be selected for another tweet tasting, hosted by Steve Rush from the Whisky Wire. It was a Benromach new release tasting, which, as soon as I learnt this, I had to apply for. I’ve always had a love of Benromach so being able to try these new releases was a real treat. In the tasting we were given the chance to try two new expressions. One was a triple distilled edition, while the second was the latest in their wood finish series, finished in Chateau Cissac cask (which you can check out here). In this review I will be taking a look at the new triple distilled release.
I must say that I was really looking forward to this. I love Benromach and have tried many of their variations, mostly based on maturation, so trying a release that has been created using a change to the process will be interesting to see what difference this has made. The new triple distilled edition of Benromach has been matured in first fill bourbon barrels for its whole life. It is a NAS edition, though it does have a vintage marked on it as being distilled in 2009 and bottled in 2017, so around 7/8 years in age. It is a limited release of around 1,300 cases and presented at 50% ABV, all for around the £45 price mark.
There is a note that I have always associated with Benromach’s on the nose, other than the classic dry peat smoke, I find they always have this acetone/pear drop like character which I couldn’t get with is dram. I found it to be surprisingly heavy feeling on the nose to start with, with a fatty almond butter note, as well as toasted coconut and soft nutmeg. There is also plenty of fruitiness, though it isn’t fresh fruit, more like fruit jams, apricot and cherry. The almonds and the jams mingle together giving an almost Battenburg cake aroma which is just gorgeous! It gets sweeter with time with icing sugar and sweet American oak spice. Poached pear served up with a creamy vanilla custard emerges and then at the last we are left eating after eight mints with strong milky tea.
The classic dry smoke of Benromach is far more prominent on the palate, likely softened on the nose with the third distillation process, though the pear drop character I usually get still seems to be absent. Hugely sweet on the palate for me which masks the strength of this dram, I cannot believe it is 50% ABV! I think this is a great strength for this dram, the higher ABV carries a lot of the flavour through the glass. Lots of vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon coming through to start with as well as dried apple rings and citrus peel. Quite a strong presence of tannins but more delicate notes of lemon grass and milky porridge manage to push through.
Many of the flavours from the palate continue on here, especially the more fruit lead tastes. The finish is quite short, but is fresh and light, making you want to have another sip.
Another fantastic addition to the Benromach portfolio in my opinion, and I hope this is a style that we will see more of in the future. Generally, I am not a huge fan of triple distilled whisky; I prefer a more robust showing of distillery character which can often be lost with further distillations. This, however, is very enjoyable. It is a more refined and ‘crisp’ presentation of Benromach, and the peat smoke comes across as very fresh and clean. Definitely a dram worth looking out for.