Benromach Heritage Expressions February 2019
Philip Day looks at Benromach Heritage Expressions February 2019, created by the Benromach Distillery Company Limited.
In his feature about Benromach Heritage Expressions February 2019, Philip provides the brand’s tasting notes as well as his own.
The Benromach Distillery Company Ltd has announced the release of two new rare and aged vintage Heritage expressions to launch 2019 in style: Benromach Heritage 1977, an exclusive 41-year-old single cask vintage (49.6% ABV) and Benromach Heritage 1972, an exceptional 46-year-old single cask vintage (55.7% ABV).
Matured in single Refill American Hogsheads, these sought-after expressions are both available for worldwide sale from 21st February, 2019.
Benromach Heritage 1977 offers the discerning malt whisky drinker a smooth dram with hints of spice, displaying flavours of warm apple pie, poached pear and hints of ginger, mixed with subtle floral notes complemented by rich apricot jam. Only 122 decanters of this single cask vintage were bottled from cask number 1269 on 8th October, 2018.
Benromach Heritage 1972 is brimming with exotic fruit flavours leading to an ashy smoke finish. It has a golden amber hue with a tempting nose of vanilla custard, honey and tropical fruits, with intriguing hints of mature oak and an edge of fresh menthol. With lingering oak flavours and hints of smoke on the finish, just 75 decanters of this single cask vintage were bottled from cask number 4471 on 11th December, 2018.
Speaking about the launch of these two expressions, Keith Cruickshank, Benromach Distillery Manager, said:
“We’re proud to build on the popularity of previous Benromach vintage releases from the 1970s with these unique single cask bottlings that represent different moments in time from the distillery’s rich history.
Through careful monitoring and regular sampling throughout the maturation process, these remarkable releases have been aged to over 40 years each. Both golden amber single malts are brimming with fruity flavours and subtle oak notes.
The release of these vintage expressions is an outstanding start to an exciting year for Benromach.”
Both expressions are beautifully presented in a decanter-style bottle with shapes and textures inspired by the distillery. The bottle has a copper-foil embossed label and nestles in a dark oak wooden box, representing the original washbacks at Benromach. The copper cut medallion on the packaging signifies the moment in time when the distillers cut to the sweet heart of the spirit run.
Benromach is one of only a small number of distilleries in Scotland to make whisky using traditional methods, without any automated machinery. The small team of distillers employ all their senses when crafting the classic Speyside single malt Scotch whiskies, managing the process by sight, sound and touch to create the unique, hand-crafted and authentic Benromach taste.
For further information about Benromach, and to explore the range of expressions available, please visit their website at www.benromach.com.
Overview of the February, 2019 Heritage expressions:
Benromach Heritage 1972 (55.7% ABV)
Colour: Golden Amber
Bottled: Tuesday, 11 December, 2018
Years old: 46
Cask No.: 4471
Cask Type: Refill American hogshead
Outturn: 75 bottles
Benromach Heritage 1972 Tasting Notes :
First, lift your glass of Benromach Heritage 1972 to the light and appreciate the lustrous golden amber hue created by lingering for 46 years in a single Refill American Hogshead.
Aroma: Take a short inhalation and enjoy the tantalising notes of vanilla custard, honey and baked pineapple, mingling with intriguing hints of beeswax polish, mature oak and an edge of fresh menthol.
Taste: Savour the smooth sweetness beautifully balanced by a gentle dash of warm pepper. Add a few drops of water and take time to enjoy the nose as it develops with gorgeous aromas of exotic fruits come to the fore with top notes of toasted coconut and zingy lime. Enjoy a slow sip, experiencing notes of tropical fruits which soften and mingle with hints of pear drops.
Finish: Lingering oak notes and hints of ashy smoke on the finish.
Personal tasting notes (Official sample provided byThe Benromach Distillery Company Ltd/Gordon & MacPhail)
Nose: Robust aromas of rich and creamy vanilla custard, with elements of sticky honey-glazed pinapple slices fresh from the barbecue. Underlying notes of well-seasoned oak and layers of natural beeswax wood polish. There is also a hint of menthol freshness.
(With water): Additional aromas of tropical fruit like mango, coconut and zesty lime develop complimenting a dried tobacco undertone.
Taste: Smooth sweet elements of ripe tropical fruit combine with warming notes of peppery or aromatic spices, reminiscent of old fashioned aniseed balls.
(With water): The addition of a few drops of water allows the tropical fruit notes to mellow out, encouraging an element of pear drops or Juicy Fruit gum to permeate.
Finish: A lengthy, lingering finish with robust oak notes and a delicate aftertaste of mellow cigar smoke rounds out this well balanced dram.
In short, an accessible, classic dram, loaded with tropical fruit notes with smoky oak undertones, made for sharing with friends appreciative of the traditional Speyside types of whisky touched by peat smoke.
In short, a charming dram. Definitely worth trying.
Benromach Heritage 1977 (49.6% ABV)
Colour: Golden Amber
Bottled: Monday, 8th October, 2018
Years old: 41
Cask No.: 1269
Cask Type: Refill American hogshead
Outturn: 122 bottles
Benromach Heritage 1977 Tasting Notes :
First, lift your glass of Benromach Heritage 1977 to the light and appreciate the lustrous Golden Amber hue created by lingering for 41 years in a single Refill American Hogshead.
Aroma: Take a short inhalation, appreciating the wonderful aromas without water… enjoy the tantalising notes of warm apple pie, poached pear and hints of ginger, mingling with subtle floral notes complemented by rich apricot jam.
Taste: Now take a sip. Savour the notes of velvety crème brûlée beautifully balanced by undertones of warm pepper. Add a few drops of water and take time to enjoy the nose as it develops… Vibrant citrus and floral aromas emerge, followed by fragrant vanilla.
Now lift it to your lips and enjoy a slow sip… Sweet heather honey and soft peaches mingle with smooth milk chocolate.
Finish: Candied citrus peel leads to a touch of oak and tobacco on the finish.
Personal tasting notes
Unfortunately, I was not lucky enough to be provided with a sample of this expression, therefore I cannot comment.
Benromach 1977 and 1972 will be available worldwide from 21st February, 2019. Benromach 1977 has a recommended retail price (RRP) of €1,500 (£1,250) while Benromach 1972 has an RRP of €1,750 (£1,500).
(Please note that prices in local markets will vary depending on local taxes and duty.)
Once bottled, these unique expressions will never be seen again.
In addition to possessing an inimitable knowledge of Scottish single malts and passion for matching spirit with oak, the Urquhart family long held an unfulfilled ambition to own its own distillery. This desire finally became a reality in 1993 with the purchase of the Benromach Distillery, which had been originally built in 1898 on the outskirts of the ancient market town of Forres, just twelve miles from the steps of their world famous shop in Elgin. The distillery was extensively re-equipped over a five-year period before it was officially opened by HRH The Duke of Rothesay (aka HRH Prince Charles) in 1998.
In reopening Benromach Distillery, the Urquhart family wanted to create a single malt whisky that has a classic Speyside character: beautifully balanced with a light touch of smoke.
“We’re happy to say that Benromach is a family-run distillery. And there’s a story behind why we make every drop of our whisky in the traditional hand-crafted way. Our story, starts generations ago. Our family, the Urquharts of Elgin, have always been passionate about whisky. Our ancestor John began laying down casks of single malt at different distilleries in 1915, when everyone else was blending their whiskies. As a result, over the decades, our family has accumulated a remarkable private collection of extremely rare and beautiful aged single malts.
So when we bought the mothballed distillery here at Benromach in 1993, we knew we wanted to revive it in a very particular way. Backed by generations of expertise, we decided to recreate the lost taste of gorgeous old Speyside whisky: beautifully balanced with a touch of smoke.”
A five-star visitor centre at the distillery is open to the public throughout the year for tours and tastings. Benromach Distillery is also a member of the world-famous Malt Whisky Trail.
On the Benromach Distillery website, Keith Cruickshank outlines the processes and justifications why it takes many years to hand craft their single malt whisky, summed up in the following sentiment: “ We simply believe the slower, traditional way is best.”
“We keep tight control of the whole maturation process so that the wood holding our spirit lends just the right characteristics to our whisky. After hand-filling a cask with fresh Benromach spirit, we roll it to one of our traditional ‘dunnage-style’ warehouses.
Our distillers hand-fill every cask. They hammer in each bung by hand. They weigh every cask twice and notch it up on the blackboard. Nothing is automated at Benromach.”
“We admit it’s more expensive to do everything the traditional way. But we believe it’s best for developing our gorgeous classic Speyside character: beautifully balanced with a touch of smoke.
We go to obsessive lengths to ensure our whisky is nothing short of perfect.”
Address: The Benromach Distillery Company Ltd, Invererne Road, Forres, Moray, Scotland, IV36 3EB
Telephone: +44 (0)1309 675968
Website: https://www.benromach.com Twitter: @Benromach
Email: email@example.com Facebook: @Benromach
Gordon & MacPhail Whiskies
Established in 1895, family-owned Gordon & MacPhail is renowned as a curator of some of the world’s finest and rarest single malt Scotch whiskies from over 100 distilleries. Four generations of the Urquhart family have continued to pursue the perfect partnership between spirit and cask.
(See website https://www.gordonandmacphail.com for more details)
Address: Gordon & MacPhail, George House, Boroughbriggs Road, Elgin, Moray, Scotland, IV30 1JY
Telephone: +44 (0) 1343 545 111
Website: https://www.gordonandmacphail.com Twitter: @gordon_macphail
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Facebook: @gordonandmacphail
Media materials and complimentary samples kindly provided by The Benromach Distillery Company Ltd/Gordon & MacPhail.
Additional information from https://www.benromach.com
Images of the Heritage expressions kindly provided by The Benromach Distillery Company Ltd/Gordon & MacPhail through Muckle Media Ltd.