Review: BENROMACH Organic special edition – #58 hit

Benromach Organic special edition saw the light of day in 2006 and is the first officially 100% certified organic whisky on the marked. Sadly this particular bottling has been discontinued by now.                                                                                                          benromach-organic-special-edition                 Instead of following in the footsteps of most single malts outside the U.S. Benromach Organic was matured in virgin American oak casks. As you probably know the majority of single malts produced are matured in barrels that previously contained bourbon. Unavoidably this difference will affect the final character of the whisky. Indeed Benromach Organic taste slightly more like a bourbon than a single malt. This has probably worked more to its advantage than anything else. It is exceptionally creamy and round bodied, almost like olive oil. Vanilla and dried fruits dominates the palate and rise above the gentle oaky notes that appear in the background. A minor trace of peat creeps up at the end but is quickly replaced by a long woody finish. This is a very light and delicious whisky that I would highly recommend to people just getting into the wonderful world of whiskies.

VERDICT: It should be mentioned that there is a high possibility that the reason to why I love this dram is because of my addiction to bourbons. When that is said I really like the way it combines the sweetness with oak and a touch of smoke. On top of this it is soooo smooth and creamy. If I am ever so lucky to find this in a shop again I will not hesitate a second to buy it.



Review: BENROMACH Peat Smoke – #57 hit

The Benromach distillery is Speyside’s smallest and is run by only two distillers. Still they manage to release between 150.000-250.000 liters of alcohol each year. The other day one of my friends left me a half full bottle of Benromach Peat Smoke. This very unique batch has been distilled from malted barley with a phenol level of 53ppm which puts it in the heavy peated category. Generally you say that if it is made of barley of more than 30ppm it is heavily peated, around 20ppm medium peated, and below 15ppm lightly peated. CBenromach peat smokeonsidering that the nose can detect peaty flavors down to 0.1ppm I was expecting this to be somewhat of a smokebomb. This is not the case though. While I sat there waiting to be overwhelmed by cresols, xylenols, guaiacol, ehtylphenols and other phenolic compounds, notes of honey and vanilla opened up on top of a very gentle bed of smoke. At the same time it delivered generous contributions of liquorices with hints of orange peel followed by a tingy bite that diminished quickly. The absence of the heavy peaty attributes – normally characterized as burnt, smoky, and medicinal flavors – came as a surprise. Nevertheless the peat is still present but very well balanced by fruity and sweet notes that are very common to Benromach. Something that really impress me though is that this very batch was distilled in 2004 and bottled in 2012. Seldom have I tasted a whisky below 12 years that was worth drinking.

VERDICT: There are especially three things about this Speyside worth mentioning.

1)      The texture is very round and creamy.

2)      The combination of the sweet and the smoke works very well.

3)      At an age below 12 year I would have expected it to pack a much bigger punch.