Earlier this year, one of my favorite Scotch distilleries, Benromach, completely overhauled their corporate identity and bottle design. At first, it took me a bit to adjust to the new look and feel. But now I am happy to say: I love it! It tells a story. It sticks out. And it visualizes the distillery’s history and philosophy in a beautiful way. Still, Benromach’s previous bottle design looked pretty cool, too. Thus I find itwell deserved that it now gets a special swansong: The last whisky release to ever sport the previous appearance is the stunning, new Benromach 45 Years Old! The sherry casks, from which this spectacular whisky was composed, were filled in the 1970s. Thus, they predate both the distillery’s temporary shutdown in 1983 and its glorious reopening in 1998. No doubt: This is a very rare and special whisky. It has aged with grace and developed a sensational array of smells and tastes. The signature bonfire smoke, which is part of all current Benromach expressions except for the unpeated Organic, is basically nonexistend here. In the nose, I got a fleeting wiff of something that reminded me of glowing parchement. But that is it in this regard. And I cannot even say whether this note comes from the use of mainland peat or whether it is a product of the whisky’s age. Another interesting characteristic: The many years of slumber have driven the alcohol strength back to just over 42 per cent. Yet, this true history dram has a rich, opulent character – and it hands out its colorful scents and flavors in a very generous manner. To find out what Benromach’s gorgeous 45 Years Old had in store for me, please read my notes below.
Eye: Dark, syrupy amber. The legs are unhurried, broad and many.
Nose: Perfection! – I know this is a huge word, but I don’t know another way to put it. The bouquet opens with the heavy scent of sugared, cooked fruits (cherries, apricots and especially plums). Next I sense a beeswax sweetness mixed with a library dustiness – as if thick, slow-running honey had dropped on an antique book’s velvety cover. Furthermore, I get elegant wood notes, subdued sherry notes and even some tropical notes. Way in the back, there is also a smouldering leaf of parchment. There is some real depth to be found in this dram; and a wonderful equilibrium.
Palate: This four-and-a-half decades old single malt Scotch whisky is gentle, silken and pleasing to the tongue. It offers balanced flavors of wild strawberries, ripe blueberries, burnt raisins, light grapes, half-sweet violet drops and cultivated leather. With time, the whisky also develops a mineral note. Sure thing – Benromach’s methusalean 45 Years Old sends my taste buds straight to heaven. Yet, there is more. The spirit is equally stimulating to the brain, raising all sorts of marvellous thoughts and connotations. I am not just drinking a very good whisky here, I am soaking in a piece of Speyside history!
Finish: The whisky exits in the same fashion as it entered: precious and graceful. The lasting finish is rich with differing autumn fruits and mild toasting flavors as well as sweet honey, natural licorice, old wood and yesterday’s cake. Furthermore, there is this special note that reminds me of cold stones that are still moist from the rainy night before. Again, all flavors accompany and accentuate each other beautifully. Now that I have come to the end of my dram, I can say one thing with certainty: I will not soon forget the oldest single malt Scotch whisky I ever had – and whenever its memory comes back to me, I will smile with content.
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Region: Scotland (Speyside)
Aged: 45 Years
Alc. volume: 42,1%
Bottle size: 0.7 litres
Price range: ~990.00 Euro
More info: http://www.benromach.com/ (Distillery) ; https://www.schlumberger.de/ (Importer)
*** Whisky sample kindly provided by Schlumberger. Header image and
label image build from Schlumberger’s official promo photo. ***