Recently we received a set of samples from the Benromach Distillery, their lovely 10 years old and the Organic 2008. The 10 years old consists of whisky from 80% ex-Bourbon barrels, 20% ex-Sherry hogsheads and had a final finishing year in first fill ex-Oloroso casks.
The Organic 2008 is a certified Organic whisky from start to finish and fully matured in virgin oak casks. Some lovely expressions in the line-up Benromach has put out there.
Let us tell you a little something about this lovely distillery tucked away in the top of the Speyside area. When driving up there we first thought we must be lost for sure, driving over rail roads into an industrial area, and then out of nothing it suddenly appeared.
We have visited the distillery shortly in 2012, and came back in 2014 to have a proper look around. We now ended up having a tour with just the two of us and the freedom to walk around and talk easily about the craft in making whisky. Craft. A word that is heavily being spat on at the moment by many, but there are not many other words that describe this distillery. No computers or exact measurements in creating their product. When a tank is almost full for example, they turn a lever, or when a washback is filled, they empty about half a bag of dry yeast in order to get the fermentation going for about “och, one or two hours more doesn’t hurt the juice”.
Having visited some other distilleries, it was refreshing to see these people using their senses and making whisky with their touch, feel, smell, hearts and experience to makes everything work. There are obviously more distilleries that work like this, and most of these have stolen our hearts as well. Some nay-sayers will tell you that “they are just doing something different each time” or “how can they make a consistent product if they work like this”, but it appears that the do a marvellous job anyway, and yes, they can…
The distillery runs on and off since 1898 using the spring water from the nearby Romach Hills. A small crew is working the distillery and managing all the processes. In 2014 when we were there they were expanding their (all dunnage type) warehouses to make more room for the spirit produced and the rising demand for their product.
They don’t house a very large set-up, everything is very compact. There is a Boby Mill (the tiniest and cutest we have ever seen), one mash tun, four small wooden washbacks, two copper stills, a spirit safe, their own filling room and the dunnage warehouses. Lets not forget a good size shop and visitor center and the little museum with old distillery equipment where you can fill your own bottle straight from the cask.
Tasting notes – Ansgar
Tasting notes – Thomas