I had a small glass of the Benromach Organic at the Glasgow Whisky Festival back in November and declared it one of my drams of the day. So when I saw a bottle out in the wild, I promptly scooped it up and brought it back home. Seems like I'm not the only one, as it's disappearing from the shelves rather quickly.
I've spent a bit of time with it now and the bottle is about half full, so it's time for some tasting notes.
On the nose, there's a copious amount of fresh wood - no real surprise as this six-year-old Benromach was matured in virgin American oak casks. Give it a bit of time and the spirit begins to settle down. I even found that a drop of water helped release some of the aromas which were initially hidden behind the fresh sawdust notes. Cranberry and sharp raspberry became immediately apparent, along with dark toffee and hints of vanilla latte. There's also citrus rind in there, too, in the shape of orange and lemon, while a rich maltiness attacks the senses. This is definitely a whisky which improves the more time you spend with your nose wedged in the glass. I also picked up white sugar, a little candied mixed peel and that delicious porridge and honey smell which also appears in the 10 year old.
Take a sip, and the delivery is hugely sweet, which gives way to fruity wood after a few seconds. Vanilla, warming winter spices and a little citrus then take over. But the fresh oak is never far away and it lingers in the background as you swirl it around. I also got a slight green note (fresh twigs) which was quite pleasant.
The finish was packed with vanilla and baked lemon, while some white pepper notes danced around the back of my tongue, along with a sweet coffee note.
I have to say that while I've been enjoying this bottle over the last few months, it's not the most complex whisky in the world. But then, sometimes it's good to just kick back and enjoy something without trying to analyse it too much.
Benromach also go to great lengths on the bottle to let us know that the Organic has been created with Scottish organic barley and it also carries the British Agriculture logo and the Organic Soil Association badge. That's all well and good, but I'm confused why the distillery has chosen to add colouring to this malt and chill-filter it. I am assuming this is the case as there's nothing on the bottle to say otherwise. By presenting a product as organic, why not go for full craft presentation and bottle it at a little higher percentage? It's also on the pricey side for a young whisky.
Still, these grumbles aside, this is a very decent dram - although I'd probably plump for the 10 over this in the future.