Giving each whiskey (and whisky) I try a final grade, but only after reaching the bottom of the bottle. After all, just one drink is never enough!
Sunday, March 3, 2019
Benromach 30 Year Single Malt Scotch Whisky
- 86 Proof
- 30 Years
It's been a long time since I've done a Scotch review on here. For one reason or another, I've found myself focusing more on rye and bourbon--a matter of personal preference, really. But, thanks to a ridiculously generous gift, this amazing, 30 year old single malt landed in my lap!! I have never had a whisky this old before, so that in and of itself is a first. Plus, I've never (nor do I anticipate ever) spent this much on a single bottle of whiskey. The price is nuts to me, but with Scotch you certainly pay for age.
This was absolutely a special occasion pour. I only went to this bottle when friends were over--fellow whisky drinkers that I haven't seen in a while, or my good drinking buddies who just had to try this. It was also a Christmas and New Year's pour, and last night, it was my early Fat Tuesday (Fat-urday?) pour to finish off the bottle. I didn't want to see it go, but I felt the occasion justified the kill.
The nose was malty and sweet. I got a lot of bread and yeast notes along with some light milk chocolate. It had just a slight amount of baking spices to give it a little bit of kick, which was rounded out by a hint of plum or some other stone fruit, perhaps a mild cherry flavor. All of this seemed to roll over a constant sweet tobacco leaf aroma that was absolutely delicious smelling.
My first impressions of this Scotch were that it was very bready. I don't know what I expected from such a well-aged Scotch, but I thought I was going to get a lot of complexity and perhaps more wood influence. At first all I really got were those sweet bread notes. It also had a distinct tea flavor to it that I thought was interesting--something I haven't really noticed elsewhere. Perhaps this is where the wood influence came in.
After those initial pours, however, this really developed into a complex, delicate, and incredibly delicious whisky. A nice floral note (yes, I have eaten a flower before) seemed to develop on the front end of each sip before giving way to the other flavors. I also started to get sweeter notes of honey and vanilla. Although it's entirely unrelatable to anyone reading this, it reminded me of my grandma's house, where with every meal we had homemade bread with honey-butter made with homemade honey. It's a simple yet indelible memory, and this whisky brought me back to it.'
It came across as very oily and buttery, and it really coated the mouth well, leaving those bread and honey notes to linger for a long time after each sip. The tea notes eventually faded away, but at times I got a certain earthy note, kind of like a sweeter mushroom flavor. That sounds weird, but that was as best as I could put my finger on the note. It gave it a bit of an "old" taste, and if I'm looking for flaws, I guess this would be it.
That being said, that "old" note was fleeting, and it hardly took away from the honey forward notes that I got, particularly on the last few pours. As mentioned above, this is a complex and delicate whisky, and one I never would have tried but for a very generous gift. While it may not be the best Scotch I've ever head, it certainly was incredible, and I'm sure I'll shed a brief tear as I toss this one into the recycling bin.
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