Benromach — A Dormant Dram Awakens On Speyside

A Dormant Dram Awakens On Speyside

In the north of Scotland, in an ancient town that strikes across the Moray coast, something has been lying dormant for the past 40 years.

This isn’t the opening line to some Highland fable but it may as well be. The town in question – Forres – has been the scene of many mysterious events and entities. Clan Brodie, perhaps the most unknowable and long lasting of the Scottish Clans of yore, called Forres their home; their castle still stands to this day. The millennias-old Suenos Stone towers inexorably in the town centre and the obelisk is said to seal three witches within its sandstone frame.

Well, this year, a different kind of magic has been awoken on the Speyside – a 40 year old single malt. Benromach Distillery has seen three separate centuries, having been built in 1898, and was rescued from closure by the Urquhart family in 1993. The whisky in question, though, was already 12 years into its maturation and this heirloom inherited by the current custodians of Benromach is the first high age expression of the esteemed whisky house.

Perhaps as a nod to the immutability to their surroundings, the eight man team at Benromach deigned not to interfere with the journey set out upon by their forbears. Bottled at a cask strength of 57.1%, this rare single malt whisky enjoyed a four decade stint in the finest first-fill Oloroso sherry hogshead casks.

The result is an exquisite single malt that is deep, layered and allows for far more front-of-palate fruity impressions than its age would suggest. Rich ginger and stewed fruit aromas occupy the initial nosing, hotly tailed by citrus, cinnamon, toffee and beeswax polish. And then the sipping and the Seville oranges bouncing around with red apples, both hopped up on demerara sugar. There’s something delightfully infantile about these first stages of tasting but those 40 years of soaking the sherry-sap from charred oak become apparent upon the grand finish and, like the Suenos Stone or Brodie Castle, has a presence that lingers indelibly upon its landscape.

The single malt is displayed in a striking black stained solid oak wooden box with copper-coloured detailing and printed metal plaques. The bespoke Benromach bottle takes on a classic silhouette and features a heavily embossed and gold foiled label.

Benromach 40 Years Old is priced at £1,500 and just over 1000 bottles were made available for purchase.


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