Soba45

Benromach Peat Smoke Sherry Cask Matured 2010

Peated Single Malt — Speyside, Scotland

Tasted
3.75
3.75 out of 5 stars
Very rarely I buy a bottle without tasting first these days. This one I took a punt on as it came 2nd in 2019 out of around 70 - 80 whiskies in one of our local whiskey retailers formal tasting sessions. How the format works is every month they do a tasting. Last month they did a single cask Benriach selection which I went to. This month i'm attending a single cask Glendronach session. Each session they crown a winner and at the end they have a 'Best of the year' session where they take the top whiskey from each session and taste all together. Now this whiskey came top of its round and then 2nd in the 'Best of the year' session, 1st being a 27 yr single cask Glendronach literally 5 times the price. Now it sold out like lightning and I only found a bottle as one retailers entry didn't appear on google (I've found a few hard to get crackers by direct searching on the site rather than relying on google). Anyhow I got literally the last bottle in NZ most likely. https://www.regionalwines.co.nz/blogs/news/big-whiskies-battle-it-out-at-best-of-the-best Fast forward a couple of months and to commemorate a Distiller legend reentering the tasting ring aka @LeeEvolved. I cracked open the bottle and included it in an 18 flight lot currently winging it's way to VA, USA with a partial on-forwarding to NY to another Distiller giant @PBMichiganWolverine. Once open and after a bourbon barrel aged ale and xmas pudding stout (hey it's a public holiday here so all good for a session!) I thought I really should try before part of its whole lands on USA shores. So here the story takes a plot twist. I poured a dram with a little water and....as the Distiller reviews say metallic...it really is..and thinner than compared to say the Benromach 10 or 15. You get an acidic type peat, the sherry all coming together but it's not really a dram for me. How could 100ish whiskey connoisseurs rate this so highly? Is it a whiskey which shines amongst others? Do you need food? More time? Now it's not bad I'd say 3.5 to 3.75 which I'll place hold for now...maybe time will temper its metallic characteristics. Ok update, having had an interlude of Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2019 and a Benriach single cask this is one that arises to the occasion when there's competition. After those two this improved a fair bit. I'd say imagine a cask strength sherried Ledaig crossed with a Mortlach and this is that. Now 3.75 to 4.....then 4..will it be the gift that keeps on giving (and improving)? Oh and this needs water to bring out its essence. Update 2: Up up it goes. This one needs a few more years and water but still beautiful stuff. It has an imbalance which needs to be remedied by water. It's quite sharp without and even slightly with but over look this and a beautiful sweet barbecue flavour envelopes the palate. The metallic flavour has gone. Due to its shortcomings it won't rise higher but for an $80 dram....nice work! Update 3: Ok more time and tasting and back down it goes. I think with these types of spirit you really need a few drams prior to mask the ethanol harshness. The flavour really hasn't stood the test of time. I ended up giving half the bottle away as part of a swap for an old GD 15 Revival..hope the current owner likes it. The only reason I could say my local club rated it so highly is it would have been been tasted in parallel with several other mostly high strength whiskies. Back down to 3.5 to 3.75 territory.
  • PBMichiganWolverine

    @Soba45 mine is sitting there at customs for weeks. I’m glad I just did a test run...never again.

  • Soba45

    @PBMichiganWolverine Nice! You'll hopefully get to try a sample in a couple of weeks (it left NZ a day or so ago)

  • Soba45

    @PBMichiganWolverine Yeah DHL are a pain in the arse I really really hate dealing with them. I've always got my stuff but often they overcharged massively and I had to argue with them for weeks. Two or three times for a bulk load of samples they charged me as though as each was a bottle NOT samples so 30 litres of alcohol vs 1.2 liters. I got bounced around for donkeys..and they just kept doing it. Then there was the surprise line item charge I argued for weeks...then surprise other charges they added over time...never ever again.

  • PBMichiganWolverine

    @Soba45 I managed to find a bottle of this for $70.

  • PBMichiganWolverine

    @LeeEvolved so I took a gamble on the whiskeysite.nl...ordered a bottle and few samples—looked at it as a test run. They do have amazing prices. But—-it’s been weeks and not here —-DHL has it sitting at customs. Note to the wise: pay the tariffs at purchase ( like the UK sites), else it’s a gamble

  • Soba45

    @LeeEvolved Yeah the shipping policies are all changing. The latest for DHL who most use now is a per line item charge after the first 5 items. Only $3USD however when bulk ordering 40 or so samples adds up. And that is on top of the $100USD shipping for an order that size. A $25 fee for dealing with customs, Customs $35 fee plus GST and Duties. It's got to the point it's way cheaper trying it in a bar as MoM usually has a 200% mark up on the per sample basis. From now on it's either sample swapping, bars or tasting sessions for my sample asourcing. The one exception will be sms whiskey in aus as there is zilch mark up on their samples and I'll just ship to my in laws.

  • PBMichiganWolverine

    @LeeEvolved yeah—-the EU ones don’t guarantee anymore ( since there’s a high chance of getting stuck in customs now since they’re not taking tariffs at point of purchase ). The UK ones guarantee delivery, but the tariffs apply.

  • LeeEvolved

    @PBMichiganWolverine @Soba45 @Rick_M @Generously_Paul - well, I was just doing a bit of shopping at whiskysite.nl and did have a cart full of goodies...then I read their new shipping policy. It looks like they don’t guarantee anything anymore. Order canceled. Bummer.

  • Soba45

    @Generously_Paul @PBMichiganWolverine Yes have to make sure it's not like those sporting greats who retire after a long career, get bored, try to come back into the game, promptly get either injured or realise why they retired in the first place and quickly fade away... :-)

  • Soba45

    @Rick_M Ah yes hadn't paid attention, he's back to his old photo...the original is reborn!

  • Generously_Paul

    @PBMichiganWolverine remember , he’s trying to ease back into all this. Trying to throw WDT (World Distillery Tour) on him at this point and he’ll make like Punxsutawney Phil and hide out in his apartment for another 6 weeks

  • PBMichiganWolverine

    @Soba45 @Rick_M i’m curious to know if @LeeEvolved will cook up another SDT initiative like last time. Maybe this time with world whiskeys, all ex-Scotland

  • Rick_M

    @Soba45 - words and whisky! You’re giving Lee two shots at a big head. Good thing he’s wearing his old hat again. :)

  • Soba45

    @LeeEvolved Cheers :-) Ah mate quality always beats quantity...I rarely rise to the former in my reviews and usually, unlike yourself and others I follow on the platform, settle for the latter. When it's a great dram and or special occasion I'll try and up my game to commemorate the occasion :-). Subsequent to my rating i've added more notes and upped my rating. If you like Ledaig and Mortlach this will be up your alley. Try another dram before hand is my recommendation..it doesn't favour a clean palate! In my mind a sign of greatness is how much you are missed and judging by the collective reaction on the news of your impending return to the platform you deserve the label!

  • LeeEvolved

    Distiller legend? Me? That’s high praise from a gentleman with more reviews and likes than I currently have. Cheers. Great review, btw. I’m looking forward to a package from Kiwi Santa any day now. Thanks, and your return box should be out to you sometime next week.