Benromach isn’t a major name in Scotch whisky, but it’s doing some exciting things nonetheless. Its Origins series is designed to measure what happens to malt whisky not when you upend the entire production process but rather when you make relatively small changes.
With its second experiment, Benromach has fully matured an 11 year old whisky (distilled in 1999) in Port pipes instead of Bourbon or other barrels.
The results are impressive. There’s intense dark chocolate on the nose — the strongest contribution of the Port pipes — followed up with earth and grain. The body is malty, with rich cereal notes and a lot of wood. The chocolate comes back in the finish but only in moderation, leaving you with the impression of a dusting of cocoa powder, like the sprinkling on top of a latte or a rich dessert. It’s got a nice balance while remaining startlingly unusual and affordable. Give it a try!
A- / $50 / benromach.com