Benromach – Organic – 2008 – Single Malt Scotch Whisky | 43% (96 Proof) $66.99 (Here)
Sample provided by Benromach Distillery.
Color/Appearance: Pale amber. Nicely colored for such a young whisky. In making this expression adhere to strict organic standards they used only freshly charred oak barrels. Giving you some nice development rather quickly in regards to color and flavor. This also removes any worry about colorant which is great. They deserve some serious credit on another front. Right on the front of the label it says that is was distilled in 2008 and bottled in 2014. This makes it around five to six years old. Honestly listing the exact details about the age and contents of the bottle are a wonderful form of transparency that is a good match for the organic ideals. It is nice to see a distillery have an organic whisky in their range and is something that we will surely see more of in the future. It is to be commended that they are gaining experience in this now rather than jumping on the bandwagon in the future when these types of expressions will certainly be more prevalent. The bottle has a great look with some wonderful graphic design and a restrained color palate. Let’s see what this organic single malt has in store for us.
Nose: Sweet barley, porridge, sunshine in an empty field, green banana, vanilla, caramel, and soft oak round out the nose. Hints of new make are there but they only poke out a little. Really the overall nose seems warm and inviting with a very light touch. This nose begs you to take a sip. It would be rude to resist.
Palate: Light sweet grains, then a touch of something sour, seems like a little citrus, with a tiny dab of peat. Creamy toffee swirl is backing all of this up nicely. Then a few orange blossoms and a toasted marshmallow. The palate is my favorite part of this whisky. There is vibrancy and freshness but also a rich creamy texture.
Finish: Here the citrus and wood come forward. The youth of the spirit is showing again a little. The creamy decadence fading to dryness. The finish is probably the weakest part of this whisky but that is to be expected with younger expressions. Lots of time in the barrel is really the only way to get a lasting finish that you want to never end. For a virgin oak single malt the wood is rather restrained in the palate which is unexpected but then it comes roaring back on the finish. I find that entrance a little abrupt but loving oak influence as I do it is still within normal tolerances.
Overall: This is a nice expression that sort of reminds me a little more of U.S. single malts that Scottish ones, with the young age, freshly charred oak and toffee notes. Though this seems more elegant and less bold and in your face, which allows it drink a little easier. That is an asset and also for me a little of a letdown. I generally like bold and in your face flavors, but this may be starting to win me over. You can tell how well made it is and the balancing act of managing the young spirit with the strong wood influence is very well done. What is interesting is how much it feels malt forward and simple. I love that the organic grains are left to shine and that is really my lasting impression of this whisky. A warm bowl of fragrant porridge with just enough caramelized sugars and fruit to give depth while still allowing the barley to shine. It would be cool if they could find some used organic bourbon barrels and allow an expression like this to age longer. Many thanks to Kirsty at Benromach for sending this all the way from Scotland to my door. I greatly appreciate it.