Review: Benromach Peat Smoked Sherry Cask Matured 2010
Benromach’s reputation for being a reasonably priced, sturdy single malt is well earned, especially in an age where distilleries are frequently in favor of pushing well-aged stock and ultra premium product affordable only to a select clientele blessed by capitalism’s benevolence. So it came as a bit of surprise to see a Benromach strut itself in town with such a high price tag. Is this the beginnings of Benromach 2.0, ingratiating itself to a higher-falutin’ class o’ folk? Economic editorials aside, it is high time to dive in to this fusion of two opposing worlds — peat and sherry — to see what happens.
The nose doesn’t impose too many of the heavy characteristics aligned with peated expressions, opting to balancing smoke and sea salt with sherry notes of orange zest and honey. A few drops of water bring out notes of black cherry and marmalade after a short time resting in a glass. Things change on the palate, with iodine and seaweed initially pressing hard for attention over a furnace blast of heat. Blackberry and overripe Honeycrisp apple notes ease things up a tad to finally achieve some sort of balance towards the finish, which is long and full of orange zest, bread and mild smoke.
It’s a nice experiment, which brings out a bolder side to a brand with a reputation for lightness and accessibility. Unlike some who occasionally venture into peated waters, the additional element complements rather than dominates the overall flavor profile. It adds an interesting and welcome additional level of depth.
B / $90
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