July 2013 Archives

Benromach 10 Year Old

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Benromach 10yr.jpgDecades ago it was common to encounter a standard expression from a Speyside distillery that had a noticeable smoky trace of peat to it. But with the passage of time and the evolution of technology, peat was eschewed in the malting process for most of the area's distillers, with almost all opting for newer, more cost effective ways to obtain their roasted malts.

In 1993 Gordon & MacPhail purchased a run down and gutted distillery named Benromach with the intention of fulfilling a family dream that had survived two generations. The goal was simple: to own a small distillery near Elgin, and to have that distillery produce a spirit that was light and fruity, yet still displaying a subtle smoky note, such as the region's whiskies did up until the late 1960's. In 1998 that dream officially began to step into reality as the distillery re-opened, and in 2009 it fully arrived with the first release of Benromach 10 year old. 

Lightly peated, this whisky is matured in an 80/20 split of ex-bourbon and sherry hogsheads, the contents of which are then married for one year in Oloroso sherry casks. The end result is that it is safe to say it is "Mission Accomplished' for the small crew at Benromach, as they have certainly developed a whisky that bridges the decades, while still maintaining a price point that results in a fantastic daily dram.

Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

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Although the name "Buffalo Trace" is relatively new, the distillery site in Frankfort, Kentucky has a heritage that reaches back to the late 1700s. Known for most of the last century as George T. Stagg Distillery, Buffalo Trace currently produces 17 different whiskey product lines including Blanton's, Eagle Rare and Van Winkle among others. Launched to coincide with the re-christening of the distillery site in 1999, Buffalo Trace is the company's flagship Bourbon. Bottled at 45% A.B.V., this whiskey has been praised by both critics and consumers alike for it's smoothness and complexity. 

Nose: Sweet, spicy and inviting aromas like cherries and creme brulee dusted with nutmeg.

Palate: The medium-bodied spirit unfolds with big rushing waves of toffee and vanilla. Following closely behind, the rye element of the dram leaps to the fore bringing with it spicy ginger and cherried astringency that sets up the long fade out.

Finish: Drying and spicy with lingering dark fruit and cherry flavours alongside leather, tobacco notes. 

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Recent Comments

  • Ryan commented on Legacy Lost: The Macallan 1824 Series:

    It's a damn shame that they decided Canada wasn't worthy of the original age-statement line. I looked high and low for bottles of The Macallan Cask Strength (one of their best ever IMO) and the 12 yr expressions and was able to find a couple in the USA a few years back. I bought a bottle of The Macallan 12 yr when I was in Sweden last fall and I was reminded just how delicious this whisky is compared to the Legacy line.
    You're right, it's worth hoarding!

  • Ryan commented on Talisker 10 years old:

    John, I can't say that I'd recommend a dip in the North Atlantic but I admire your courage! :) Thanks for the feedback.

  • John commented on Talisker 10 years old:

    Thank you for a great review! I enjoy comparing Talisker's lighter peatiness to Lagavulin 16.

    I appreciate your "brine" and "salty" descriptions. I visited the distillery last summer and took a cold plunge into the water off of a beach on the Isle of Skye. The cold, salty waves slapping my face and lips were like Talisker splashing on my tongue!

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