When you’re visiting Speyside – and you must as a whisky fan – it’s easily to become focused on the heartland of the region, which is in and around Dufftown. The true crown of Speyside is just a few miles west of Ballindalloch at Tormore distillery, but visitors often travel along this road – back and forth – without venturing north too often. Take the road to Elgin and sweep around to Benromach distillery. It’s a quaint and relatively unspoiled example with recent improvements not hampering the history of the site. Hopefully all going well #thetormore4 will fit in a visit during the 2017 Speyside Festival, as it escaped us in 2016.
Benromach 1973 Heritage Review
On the nose: immediately its butterscotch and cinder toffee. I can fondly recall being at Beamish and their old sweetie shop when the latter was brought out to set and then smashed up. The room filled with sugary aromas and caramelised delights. Redcurrants robustly arrive as do hazelnuts and pralines cut through finely by fresh Scottish raspberries. I’ll even say rum fudge! Sweet Spanish tobacco, candied orange slices and vanilla almond granola.
In the mouth: utterly distinctive with tinned clementines with a lingering sense of liquorice and blackcurrants. A resin-like texture that sweeps across the palate and a lingering sweet honey peppery finish shrouded in a delicate smoke. Returning to the main body there are elements of lime, pineapple, mango, nuts and caramel all at play. Wonderfully balanced and a classic example of spirit and nature in unison.
This 1973 Benromach is one of those really special drams. Already shooting into my hemisphere occupied by the 1974 Ardbeg, 1970’s Tormore’s and Brora’s, 1960’s Macallan, the George Strachan Rosebank and that 1974 Deanston Oloroso sherry cask. Yes, it’s right up there and maybe I should purchase a bottle…