Today, Benromach is the smallest distillery in Speyside with a workforce of just two and a maximum capacity of a mere half million litres annually. Benromach was established in 1898, a year a great number of distilleries came into being. The distillery was built by the Benromach Distillery Company and situated to the north of Forres in Speyside.
Drawing its water from the Chapeltown springs, Benromach was one of the many Speyside distilleries designed by the renowned Charles Doig, the Elgin-based architect who was credited also for Aberlour, Dufftown and Balblair among many others. Benromach, whose name derives from the Gaelic for ‘shaggy mountain’, closed and reopened over the course of the 1930s. In 1983 it was mothballed. It was not until a decade later that the distillery was acquired from United Distillers by Gordon and MacPhail. Following the purchase, Gordon and MacPhail paraded it as a flagship distillery of the old school Speyside style. A more heavily peated malt was used, producing a fuller spirit.
Benromach was reopened officially by Prince Charles in 1998. Under Gordon and MacPhail's ownership, Benromach became the first distillery to release a Soil Association certified whisky with the 2006-released Organic. Other unique expressions have been released since; Peat Smoke, distilled from heavily peated malt at 55ppm as well as a series with the moniker Origins, aimed to draw attention to the effects of different production processes.
Nose: Dry, barley, big on malt and oak. Dry pine, fruity. A tad spirity. Sweet spices after a time and a hint of puckering prune from the sherry cask and maple fudge.
Palate: Barley, slightly herbal, a little fruit, grassy. Big on malt, ground ginger.
Finish: Mouthwateringly bittersweet. Ginger, dry sherry, almost hoppy after a while.