[Review] Benromach - 10 year old 43%

I have been watching quite a bit of Ralfy's videos lately on Ralfy.com. For those of you who wouldn't know him, he is a Glasgow undertaker who has become a bit of a whisky phenomenon particularly through his youtube video blogs or "vlogs" as he calls them. He prides himself on being unbiased as he pretty much only reviews what he buys rather than sampling what distilleries could be sending him. He is very watchable, down to earth and rather knowledgeable in terms of spirits (in my opinion!) So go and watch a few of his vlogs to get your own opinion and for more information about him, have a look at the link at the end of the post.
Now why mention Ralfy? Well I watched his whisky review 511 over a month ago in which he reviews his "whisky of the year 2014", the Benromach 10 years old. As I was looking to continue my whisky journey away from my peaty comfort zone, I thought I could give the Benromach 10  a try. I found a bottle in Astons of Manchester for a reasonable £34. 
I haven't had many Speyside whiskies but the few drams I tried did not really have a great gustatory effect on me. I do like the pronounced flavours (peat, sherry...) that the Speyside I tried lacked. Looking into Benromach, you realise their selling point is Speyside authenticity. On their website you learn that they handcraft their whisky, use the finest Scottish ingredients, take their time creating it, hand-fill every cask, use mainly first-fill casks and leave the casks to mature in their dunnage warehouse (traditional stone warehouses with earthen floor). Sounds good! So let's have a look at the 10 year-old bottling. 

Is it truly an "authentic" whisky? As Ralfy says in his vlog, it is not unchill-filtered and as nothing is mentionned on the bottle, I presume it is not natural colour either (even if we might not be far off)... The whisky is a mix of 80% Bourbon Barrels and 20% Sherry Hogshead with its final year spent in first-fill Oloroso casks, and it is bottled at 43% ABV.

Nose: Sweet and slightly spicy. I pick up kiwi,vanilla, toffee, liquorice, a hint of chocolate and some malt notes

Palate: Round, sweet and spicy, a bit waxy with notes of grapefruit, sherry, salt, malt, some angelica and a hint of smoke

Finish: Warm and spicy, some fruitiness and a hint of pepper

With water: More pineapple on the nose, sweeter and maltier on the palate

A very enjoyable dram which has made me start to change my mind about Speyside!

The Benromach distillery belongs to the independent bottler Gordon and MacPhail.

Benromach website here
More info on Rafly here


  1. As a newcomer to whisky , I found your blog entirely by chance. I almost feel am sitting in a white cottage on a Scottish Isle on a winter's evening round a log fire the way you describe them! Thank you and keep up the great work! Happy drinking!


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