This is a distillery that is very proud of it’s position in one of the most interesting and alluring Whisky regions in the world.
Their tagline “The Classic Speysider” harks back to a time before the 1960s, when, as Benromach themselves claim, Speyside Whiskies had a delicate trace of smoke in them.
This is been somewhat lost over the following decades, with a more floral and spicy flavour overshadowing it. But of course there are a good number of smoky Speysiders today, with Benromach leading the charge.
The distillery was bought in the early 1990s by Gordon & MacPhail, who now champion it as the renaissance of early Speyside malts.
It may be the smallest of the Speyside distilleries, but it certainly has a big character. This is no better encapsulated than in their recent release of a Single Cask expression called Benromach 1974.
This dram has spent an incredible 41 years maturing in a sherry butt and has all the dried fruit and spice flavours to show for it.
On the nose this dram is bursting with ripe apples and pears, with a wonderful tang of citrus and dried raisin and apricots in the background,
It is almost as if these flavours have been waiting for those 41 to finally show you what they can do.
And they do it well.
They spring forward, bouncing of a sounding board of beeswax polish and a bitter and rich dark chocolate.
These duller flavours give the sharp fruits a great introduction and allow them to flourish, even before the first sip.
Now taking that sip we are met with a wonderfully tart summer berry flavour that is filled with raspberries and blackcurrents.
The ripe apples and pears of the nose are also present, adding a hint of sweetness to the berries edge. These work together to produce a light and easy-going style.
The dark chocolate that was so present in the background of the nose really comes to the fore on the palate.
It is smooth and thick, with lots of richness and a creamy mouth feel.
Alongside this there is yet more fruit, with the apricots and raisins of the nose coming through once again. These are invigorated by the dark chocolate and beeswax and are now joined by a fantastic sherry warmth.
Cinnamon and allspice give a healthy spice to this dram and lightly dust each of the fruits, combining with them well.
This warmth lasts into the finish, where this dram is beautifully wrapped up with a nutty and, as is true to the Benromach character, delicate smoky flavour.
This is not a dram to miss out on, which is rather unfortunate considering only 452 bottles have been made available worldwide. But if you ever have a chance to get your hands on it, do not miss out!