Benromach 8yo, 2006-2014, Single Cask, Distillery Exclusive
Price per bottle: °°
Cask type: Single Bourbon Barrel (#372)
Colour: Pale gold.
Nose: Clean and fresh on the nose. An intriguing combination of fruity and savoury with lovely notes of apricots, subtle lemon balm and delicate vanilla. Slightly alcoholic with gentle fragrant peat smoke in the back.
Palate: Sweet and fruity start on the palate with apricots, peaches and citric flavours, accompanied by lingering notes of custard and toffee. Then the alcohol sensation gently bites the tongue supported by a massive load of warming spices - cinnamon, oak, black pepper and tender anise. Develops on a prickling oaky flavour. Quite vibrant!
Finish: The finish is long, warm, and creamy sweet. Mouthcoating with a light maltiness and a lively lemon touch. Slightly drying on the tail.
With water: There's more fruit coming through with a splash of water. While vanilla and toffee are still present, the gentle peat smoke's almost vanished. Water enhances the spiciness on the palate with an increasing amount of hot chilli. Sharp and warm. The fruitiness is almost tamed. The finish is long, still hot, creamy and very dry.
Comments: This distillery exclusive bottling is a fresh, vibrant, attractive and melow single malt. A lovely combination of a spectrum of fruity sweetness and an intense but pleasant spiciness. Surprisingly easy to drink neat, but turns into a spicy monster when water is added.
I thank Neil Martin from Rossmor Guest House in Grantown-on-Spey for the sample!
Benromach Hermitage, 2005-2014, Wood Finish Series
Price per bottle: °°
Cask type: First fill bourbon casks, finished for 27 months in hand-selected casks from the Hermitage Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée, France (4200 btl.)
Colour: Polished copper.
Nose: Once you open a new bottle there is immediately peat smoke coming through! Poured into a glass, there's lots of fruit, red apples and a touch of citrus. A hint of delicate vanilla emerges, underlined by spice, cinnamon, all complemented by a whiff of peat smoke.
Palate: Yes, this is bold, intense and voluminous. Succulent red fruit, cherries, red gooseberry at the beginning, displaced by a short kick of bitter orange peel, and finally complemented by creamy chocolate, lingering spice, vanilla and gentle peat smoke. Very delicate.
Finish: The finish is long, warm and mouth-coating with delicate spice, milk chocolate and orange blossom honey with a hint of smoke.
With water: Now the wine cask is coming through with red wine flavours and pink grapefruit on the nose, increasing spiciness along with bitter orange peel on the midpalate, complemented by a sweet fruity finish with honey and subtle smoke.
Comments: A very enjoyable dram with an amazing colour! Very impressive, delicate with a pleasant balance of peat smoke, fruit and spice. Dangerously quaffable.