Benromach 10 Year Single Malt Whisky (750ml) (Elsewhere $65)
The first 10 year old release containing whisky produced entirely by the new owners. I love the interplay here between the malt, sherry, and smoke, with all getting a chance to shine. A rich vanilla-tinged malty foundation, deep caramel, rhum agricole, an array of lush fruit and dark chocolate, along with grassy/hay notes, honeysuckle, subtle spice (cinnamon, anise), and lingering earthy smoke. A vast improvement from the 'Origins' release last year. I would only make three changes to make this whisky even better (and elevate it to 90+ status): a couple more years on oak, bottling at 46%, and not chill-filtering it. Still, this is one of the best efforts from this distillery. Well done!
The first significantly aged whisky from the recently reopened Benromach distillery. Made when the stills were fired up again in 1998, this Speyside malt has everything going for it. The nose is full of intense toasty barrel aromas with loads of spice. The flavors are woody with cedar oak and rich, nutty accents that mingle together with soft hints of smoke. The smoke really kicks in at the back and the finish is long and satisfying. A great accomplishment for Benromach that shows their potential promise for further aged whiskies.