Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Review - Benromach 1975 Vintage

This whisky is the latest addition to the limited edition Heritage range from Benromach. This 1975 Vintage is a single cask (Cask #3434) single malt that was distilled and filled to a refill American oak hogshead cask in 1975. It follows whiskies from 1972, 73 and 74 in the series, and subsequently a distillery exclusive 1976 expression. The Benromach distillery was founded in 1898 and is located on the outskirts of the town of Forres in the north of the Speyside region of Scotland. It was originally called Forres Distillery and was built next to the new Aberdeen-Inverness railway line.

Benromach was one of the last designed by the renowned Victorian distillery architect Charles Doig. The distillery became known as Benromach in 1919, taking the name from the nearby Romach Hills, and is currently owned by independent bottling company Gordon & MacPhail. They renovated Benromach after a period of closure and re-opened it in 1998, a century after it was built. The current annual production is 500,000 litres.

“Our exclusive Heritage single malts celebrate different aspects of Benromach’s history and traditions. After 41 years in cask, the character is both unpredictable and intriguing. I’m confident that whisky fans will be eager to savour this precious single malt.” 
David King - International Sales Director at Benromach. 

The 1975 expression will have just 162 bottles at a natural cask strength of 49.9% ABV and is presented in a handblown bottle and wooden casket. It will be available worldwide in selected specialist whisky retailers, with a cost of £1,250 per bottle.

Our tasting notes
The colour is a deep golden yellow and the nose is filled with sumptuous sweet and fruity aromas. Initially this is reminiscent of honeycomb, golden syrup and peach, which develops in to apricot and sultana. Background aromas of cocoa, vanilla, oat cookies, cinnamon and a hint of gingerbread add a wonderful warmth and depth.

On the palate this whisky feels soft and velvety. The immediate notes are similar to the nose - honeycomb and golden syrup combine well with dried stone fruit (especially peach and apricot). There is also plenty of woody spice and this adds complexity - think of cinnamon, gingerbread, star anise, all-spice, white pepper and a hint of nutmeg and almond. An earthy and soft peat smoke, which was not particularly evident on the nose, is present and gives the whisky a wonderful warmth. Late hints of dried mango, tobacco leaf, cocoa powder, candied orange and white chocolate are detectable too.

The finish is long, warm and complex. The sweet and fruity notes linger well, while the spices and soft earthy smoke come to the fore once they do begin to fade. A late hint of toasted almond and malted cereal add the final twist.

What's the verdict?
The 1975 Vintage is a delightful whisky and one of high character. We have reviewed most of these recent 1970s Vintage releases from Benromach and this one is equally as good as the others. The whole range is incredibly consistent. This 1975 is a classy, viscous and lovely whisky that shows how good old single malts can be if matured sympathetically in good casks. Wonderful.

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