|Benromach 10-year-old Single Malt
Written by Martin Pilkington
The spirit that came back from the dead. Benromach Distillery is now owned by renowned malt purveyors Gordon & MacPhail, who legend has it needed to remove several tons of guano from the place before they could begin work to put it back into production in the last decade. The distillery is one of the smallest, perhaps the smallest in Scotland, operated by two men – and on the evidence of this bottling operated very capably.
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Having made a mark on the sector with the launch of the first certified organic whisky the new owners have now launched their first aged product, a 10-year-old of some distinction. We should all look at the book not the cover, of course, but the protective tube around the bottle is obviously well thought out, the shiny brass colour reminiscent of a polished pot still and thus likely to get malt lovers in the right frame of mind.
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Pale gold, Benromach 10-year-old is relatively light for a Speyside malt, but with a nice breadth of flavours: the first to hit is a definite orange tang; then a rounded herbal quality reminiscent of Benedictine, allied to a tiny hint of smoke. The finish is far creamier than might be expected of such a light whisky, and very malty, bringing to mind childhood memories of Horlicks and Ovaltine.
When though to drink this? It has a bit more body than many would like as an aperitif, and is not weighty enough for a digestif – not the sort of malt to nurse by a quiet fire. But it is something to get out of the cupboard to share with friends of an afternoon or evening: interesting enough for malt enthusiasts to ponder as they take a sip; accessible enough for those not yet converted to the true path to enjoy and even ask for another.