For lovers of Benromach, today is a special day (It’s a special day for me). Benromach have just announced a new core release, the Benromach 15 year old. While the name and location of Benromach Distillery have remained the same since 1898, the stills and other equipment were lost after the closure in 1983. The independent bottler, Gordon & MacPhail, purchased the site, stocks, and rights to the name in 1992 and installed new stills and equipment. The new stills are smaller than the previous ones and the general whisky making process also differs from pre-1983 Benromach. In October of 1998, the new Benromach Distillery was finally opened and distillation of the new spirit began.
Why does all of this matter? It matters because the Benromach 15 year old is the oldest officially bottled expression of the current Benromach Distillery! While you can find older Benromach whisky, it is all from the previous incarnation. If you’ve ever tried the older stuff, you’ll probably know that the whiskies are quite different.
As a big fan of the Benromach 10 and Benromach 10 100 proof, I am definitely looking forward to this release. According to the Benromach website, the expression is comprised of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks and bottled at 43%. During a Christmas promotion last year (2014), they had some information on their site saying that they only used first fill casks. If this is the case with the Benromach 15, it should be quite interesting since first fill casks tend to impart much stronger flavours and even at 10 years can be quite robust.