Founded In 1898 by The Benromach Distillery Company this Speyside Distillery is today under the ownership of Independent bottler Gordon & MacPhail.
The distillery has the capacity to make 700,000 litres of alcohol per year from its 1.5 ton semi lauter mash tun, 13 washbacks and one pair of stills.
The majority of the whisky produced each year is lightly peated ( around 12ppm ) but the distillery does produce a more heavily peated liquid once a year which varies in ppm with each batch, on top of this there is also a short run using organic barley.
Gordon & MacPhail purchased the distillery in 1993, 10 years after the distillery had been mothballed for the second time ( the first time was in 1931 where it remained closed until 1937 )
Mothballed In 1983 the distillery remained closed until production was once again started in 1998 with a visitor centre opening shortly after in 1999.
Gordon & MacPhail
The Company was established in 1895 and is owned by the Urquhart family who still runs the business from the same premises in Elgin..
The Company is one of the most well known of the Independent bottlers in today’s market place with the unique point of not only having one of the largest collection of maturing stock of whisky but also owning their own whisky distillery but add to that a designated gin distillery.
The company is also in a unique position that lets them release some exceptionally old single casks from other distilleries other than Benromach..
Some of the releases that the company have released in the past include 70 year old expressions from both Mortlach and Glenlivet under the Generations label which was introduced in 2010 and has also seen the likes of a 75 year old Mortlach, a Glen Grant from 1949 and many others that transcend whisky into a history lesson rather than it being a liquid held within a bottle..
Benromach 1977 cask #1269
Bottled.. 8th October 2018
Age.. 41 years
Cask.. A single refill bourbon hogshead #1269
Nose.. Soft spices gently rise along with stewing fruits, caramelised sugars and honey, in the background there is such a soft smoke that just winds it’s way in and out of the senses all the time you can just imagine being in the middle of a bakery while the darkness outside is still holding off the light of the new day..
Palate.. The spices once again lead the way with a soft bite of ginger, a touch of pepper and a splash of cinnamon before the fruits start to surface.. Ripe pear, apple peel, pineapple and a touch of citrus peels bring in a delicate bitter twist. Hints of barrel Charing / smoke entwines with an earthy honey note and a distant coconut note.
Finish.. Lingering spices and a twist of oak
Thoughts.. This whisky is probably older than a lot of people who might be reading this review and at 41 years it isn’t far away from my age either.. So with that in mind when I sat down with this whisky I thought about all the things that have happened while this single cask laid sleeping in some dark, dusty warehouse.
A miners strike that basically brought the country to its knees ( uk ) the distillery sitting silent for as long as many casks mature for, atrocities in far off countries, the Berlin wall finally comes down in 1989, Nelson Mandela was released in 1990, Bill Clinton did not have sexual activities with that woman…. Terrorists bomb the world trade centres killing thousands of innocent people.. Over 14965 sunsets and sunrises. The Ford Fiesta actually went on sale in 1977, some team named Liverpool won what was the first division title in 77, and then there are some people that are already grandparents at this age!! so it was only right that this whisky was given a few hours of contemplation, wondering thoughts and a multitude of nods and smiles..
Is the whisky any good.. This is a 41 year old masterclass in the way whisky was made once upon a time so does it really matter ? But for those of you who are intrigued.. Yes it’s bloody good !!
With thanks to Gordon & MacPhail and Benromach for this opportunity to taste liquid history..