2014 Benromach Contrasts Peat Smoke Sherry Cask Matured Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml)
A slightly richer expression in the Contrasts series is this eight year old, first-fill sherry cask finished edition, peated to 57ppm and only produced in small batches. The combination results in sweet vanilla and stewed fruit aromas, citrus and summer berry flavours, ending with peat smoke and ginger. It's a profile that's been described as "...very close in style to some Springbank 12YO". Whiskyfun's review below is for the 2022 release, however the specs remain almost identical, so expect similar thrills with the current bottling. 46% Alc./vol. Non chill filtered.
Other reviews... This sherried variant is brand new while the malt was peated to 55ppm this time, a rather Tufnelian move. Colour: gold. Nose: we've come much closer to the regular 10 this time, with these lovely acetic, meaty and very fermentary notes, with some Tabasco, onion soup, Worcester sauce, then dried fermented fish and touches of hoisin sauce. Would you please pass the Peking duck? Mouth: ah, hurray, good dirt! And cracked pepper, leather, tobacco, Grisons meat, cold-smoked German (or Alsatian) sausage, marmalade, coffee and cocoa dregs, cinnamon and paprika… A lot of action in this one again. Right up my alley. Finish: long, with a little more toffee, raisins and bean curd. Comments: not a peat bomb at all but this time it is clearly ' smoky malt'. Excellent wild composition, on par with the fantastic regular 10 in my book. 88 points - whiskyfun.com
...Nose: A smoky and heady sherry greeting. Black treacle and orange peel draw you towards the aromatic end of things; a tobacco pouch, beeswax, sandalwood, damp leather and woodshed. There’s a savoury side too and, helped by the smoke, it comes off a little like bacon crisps. Time and a drop of water brings a little plum and dried fruit along with the citrus theme. Palate: The smoke, spice and sherry all arrive in decent and balanced proportions, but none are particularly compelling. A jagged sharpness existed on the first glass or two from the bottle, but that’s been tempered in the open bottle. It’s softer than I remember from the uncorking. Black pepper has moved to softer spices such as cinnamon and a little background char. There’s a heavy and dark honey laced with sweet oranges amongst a pot pourri of sweet and ripe citrus. It has a medium finish that dries to a slight bitterness. - dramface.com