There is a lot I love about Schlumberger, the German importer of such fantastic brands as Benromach, Kavalan or Penderyn. One particular thing I like: Besides making sure that us Germans have good access to the core releases from the above-mentioned distilleries and many others, they also release amazing exclusives from time to time. Recently, for example, they launced this Benromach 11 Years Old, which was vatted from four hand-selected 1st-fill ex-bourbon barrels. Each vessel was picked by Schlumberger’s Sales Director Whisky, Andrea Caminneci. As a Keeper of the Quaich, he has tremendous knowledge of Scotch and other spirits. And as a merited indie bottler, he has much experience in picking top-quality casks (before he joined Schlumberger, Andrea ran C&S Drams for many years). For this special release, he was given a most wonderful task: To try several warehouse samples from Benromach – one of my absolute favorite distilleries – and choose the right specimen for the creation of this outstanding “Germany Exclusive”. Him and his partners in Germany and Scotland did very well: This Vintage 2009 is a real beauty! It is lighter and more prancing than I would have expected. In this regard it reminds me a little of the distillery’s Organic. Yet, it also has the ardour and the smokiness of the classic 10 Years Old. Furthermore, it possesses that distinctive touch that renders small batch releases – just like single casks – so exciting. That is a great mix, in my opinion. And consequently, this is one helluva whisky!
Eye: Light and bright.
Nose: How nice! This 11-years-old Speysider opens rather lean and fleet-footed. First and foremost, there’s a lotta fresh fragrences in there, like spring twigs, lemon oil and ginger slices. Then, I sense a pastry sweetness as well as some warmth from saw dust and fine spice. Last but not least, green bananas and sweet tangerines provide a bit of a tropical touch. All of these scents are enshrouded by a cloud of Benromach’s signature bonfire smoke.
Palate: The slender liquid ensnares the tongue with a delicate assortment of flavors: some sweet (butter cookies), some fruity (canned peaches), some tropical (fresh pineapples), some autumnal (mushy apples) and some creamy (vanilla sauce). Each note sticks out colorfully; yet they all harmonize beautifully with each other. The smoke is part of the mix, too. It is a little thinner and a bit more perfumy here than it was in the nose. But – spoiler alert – it will make a stronger return in the finish!
Finish: In the course of the good finale, the dram becomes spicier and, as announced before, smokier. The sweetness also gets a little boost. Imagine ginger candy, apple slices, chocolate milk and rice crispies – all drenched in white pepper and set on fire!
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Region: Scotland (Speyside)
Age: 11 years old
Alc. volume: 48 per cent
Casks: 1st fill ex-bourbon barrels
Bottle size: 0.7 litres
# of bottles: 1,116
Price: 65.00 Euro
More info: https://www.benromach.com/ (Distillery) ; https://www.schlumberger.de/ (Importer)
*** I bought the bottle as a regular customer.***