Benromach – 10
Nose: Immediately herbal and vinous with sherry. Cough candy, limestone and apple. Interesting combination of some grassy/hay Speyside notes with something dirtier and oilier – maybe imagine being in a working hayloft with some farm machinery, if that isn’t too bucolic an image! After a while in the glass some more savoury characteristics emerge, with some nice peat smoke.
Taste: Quite dry, with cider apples. Smoky liquorice, tobacco, lots of herbs and some dark chocolate.
Finish: Tea made with brackish water. A touch of something metallic, not in a displeasing way. Baked apple with dried fruits soaked in Oloroso. Ginger, liquorice and more cough candy. Long-ish aftertaste with chocolate and lovely traces of dry smoke.
What really impresses me about this is that we have here a young-ish and accessibly-priced whisky with some serious personality. It’s a bit idiosyncratic, even. In a blind tasting you’d probably peg this as an older whisky (and probably not from Speyside), but once you’ve tried it you’d never mistake it for anything else. That’s character, and it counts for a lot with me. It’s inexpensive and widely-available, so there’s really no excuse not to give this one a try. Two thumbs up, Siskel and Ebert style.