Benromach Organic

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Bias time: I’m not the kind of person who puts much stock in Organic as a label.

I understand, in some places, it makes sense. There’s a huge reason to have it in the UK, from what I’ve been told. The standards just aren’t there, from what I’ve read. Compared to Canada to the US, where it’s become a new label that mostly means… something.

That said, I can still see the desire for it. I can see the want and hope better quality. And in a constantly changing, competitive industry that is always looking for a step up. So why not attempt the newest, greatest craze?

That leads us to Benromach Organic. And you have to be the first one on the market, too. Can’t have someone else jumping on the bandwagon, outdoing you. Especially if it works.

So if you’re Benromach, you do just that. You launch a whisky younger than most, and age it in Virgin Oak. That way it’ll age quicker, and you can test to see if the idea works or not.

So… let’s see if the gamble worked out, eh?

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Price: N/A at the LCBO

Region: Speyside

Distilled: 2008

Bottled: 2014

Cask Type: Virgin new Oak

Abv: 43%

Colour: 10Y 8/8

Nose: Sour wood, grapefruit, vanilla, brown sugar, herbal

Lots of acid. The virgin oak is evident on this one. Lots of vanilla and brown sugar. Somewhere between bourbon and Scotch.

Like the two of them had an incestous child, if you will. You’re welcome for that wonderful thought. Sweet dreams.

Taste: Crabapple, rosemary, celery, oak, simple syrup

Nice amounts of acidity, nice amount of oak. Good clean flavours on this one. I can’t say what the Organic added, however I can speak to it being a nice dram.

Again, it’s young though. Some of the flavours haven’t quite gotten there, while others are quite evident and easy to identify. If I was a betting man, which I am (though I identify as a Puritan breakdancer), I’d guess that’s the closest element the organic element has added.

Finish: Brown sugar, marmalade, yeast, cranberry, oak, ginger

Big sugar, spice, and fruit elements. Still has aspects of youth.

Perhaps I should explain that: There’s lots of oak and yeast and young flavours. Things like cranberry, usually lots of pepper, and raw oak flavours.

Conclusion: This is a young, but quite good dram. The flavours that have developed are impressive though. This wasn’t a dram that requiring hunting around for individual flavours.

So here’s where I’m speculating: I’m going to say that the ingredients used in this were of a higher quality as they had to meet the standards set out to be called Organic. And based on that, they may have found something new.

That said, it could also be the specific type of grain that was used. Benromach’s specific recipe could take well to the Organic quality boost, and other distilleries may already have these elevated standards.

While I can’t speak to what, if anything, the organic added, I can say this is quite tasty.


Scotch review #481, Speyside review #143, Whisky Network review #784

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