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Friday, November 3, 2023

Benromach 8 year old 2011, cask 400 for The Whisky Exchange

(Benromach cluster homepage)

While Wednesday's NAS Traditional presented Benromach diluted to the lowest legal ABV (40%), the distillery has also offered many single cask/vintage whiskies, usually powering in at 57%-62%abv. I've tried several of these, ranging from pretty good to pretty excellent, all of them bourbon casks. Today I'm going to try a single sherry cask, sold exclusively by The Whisky Exchange in honor of the retailer's 20th anniversary.

Distillery: Benromach
Ownership: Gordon & MacPhail
Region: Speyside (Findhorn)

Age: 8 years (2011 to 2019)
Maturation: first-fill sherry hogshead
Cask #: 400
Outturn: 311 bottles
Exclusive to: The Whisky Exchange
Alcohol by Volume: 59.1%
Chillfiltered? No
e150a? No
(thank you to My Annoying Opinions for the sample!)


It has a chocolatey nose, with semi-sweet chocolate, chocolate cherry cordials, and Nestle Quik powder up front, orange oil and wood smoke in the back. A plum note, appearing at the 20-minute mark, expands with time. The thick palate tosses nuts, cherries, and plums in with moderate peatiness and chile oil bite. It finishes with almond brittle and lemons, and hints of bonfire smoke and bitterness.

I could reduce it to 40% or 43% to match their standard OB strength, but nah.

DILUTED to ~46%abv, or 1¾ tsp of water per 30mL whisky

The nose is saltier, tarrier, and earthier, with a big note of Luxardo cherry syrup in the middle. Less sugar, more salt in the palate, which shows charred pepper skins, dried cranberries, and milk chocolate notes. It finishes with heftier smoke and brighter bitterness.


This big, thumping sherry hoggie thing isn't the most complex whisky, but it's very tasty, a hefty winter warmer, and probably a good dessert-after-dessert pour. It's probably best that Benromach bottled it at eight years because it may have turned into an oaky mess at 10 or 12.  The addition of water doesn't hurt it, possibly helps it, depending on one's palate. I'm not sure if a drinker could ask for more from a contemporary sherried-peated whisky at this age.

Availability - Sold through
Pricing - I think it was £75 in 2019-2020
Rating - 87