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Benromach Traditional has gone downhill!

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Benromach Traditional has gone downhill!

Postby Admiral » Wed Mar 21, 2007 3:44 am

Last night at a gathering of some fairly experienced malt enthusiasts, we sat down to assess a selection of whiskies.

One of them was the Benromach Traditional. I last tried this about two and a half years ago, just after it had been released, and I remember it being a pretty good whisky. My notes & scores at the time suggest I was pretty impressed with it. The vatting contained casks of quite young Benromach, balanced with some beautiful older casks dating back before Benromach's long mothballing. Given the complexity, spices, and even hint of smoke that used to be there, many of us suspected at the time that the proportion of older whisky in the vatting must have been reasonably generous.

However, last night was a massive disappointment. The whisky had almost no flavour, a very flat nose, and absolutely no spice, no smoke, and no complexity. The only note everyone got was a mild cereal character, and that was it. The average score from the group was 5.5! :roll: The whisky was clearly and obviously very young, and if there was any older whisky in the vatting, it was undetectable.

Once again, this is a great example of what happens too often in this industry: A distillery or bottler launches a new expression and it's great. It builds a reputation and carves a niche in the market, and then two or three years later, the bottler cannot (or chooses not to) maintain the same quality, and the whisky suddenly goes hugely downhill.

In all honesty, I thought last night's Benromach Traditional was one of the most ordinary and least appealing single malts I've ever tasted, and my opinion was shared by most, if not all, of the other 10 colleagues I had around the table. Shame, Gordon & MacPhail, shame. Either start putting more of your older casks back into the vatting, or give the expression an age statement (5 years?) so that we know we're buying a young and tasteless whisky.

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Re: Benromach Traditional has gone downhill!

Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Mar 21, 2007 4:03 am

Admiral wrote:Once again, this is a great example of what happens too often in this industry: A distillery or bottler launches a new expression and it's great. It builds a reputation and carves a niche in the market, and then two or three years later, the bottler cannot (or chooses not to) maintain the same quality, and the whisky suddenly goes hugely downhill.


Wouldn't everyone have been happier if this had been a (dare I say it) limited edition?

No, I suppose not.
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Postby Wave » Wed Mar 21, 2007 6:52 am

I tasted the Benromach Traditional for the first time at the Stirling Castle last June and found it to be a pleasant and fruity little number. Definitely not your after dinner with a cigar type whisky but still a decent afternoon swill. :wink:


Cheers!
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Postby Leither » Thu Apr 19, 2007 3:38 pm

Interesting discussion - I tried this recently in a bar being malt of the month and was thinking about splashing out on a bottle. I found it light, malty and a wee bit peaty - an ideal afternoon dram.

What I was wondering from the above discussions is that there seem to be a couple of batches - one bottle I've seen is very pale, like the colour of a white wine like Pinot Grigio and the other is still lightish but a light golden colour (like Chardonnay in comparison).

The lighter one is like this:

http://www.benromach.com/Product-Traditional.html

Am I right in thinking the better of the two, with suggetsed older stock in the mix, would be slightly darker? Incidentally the darker one is cheaper by £1!

I already have a bottle of the Organic, it's great, but I'm wondering if I liked the Traditional I recently tried in a bar as it's very young and fresh with no older stock in the mix.
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Postby vitara7 » Thu Apr 19, 2007 4:33 pm

i noticed this a few months back, and after talking to keith the distillery manger, he said that this is due to the older traditional bottlings being quite a bit over aged.
the current traditional on the market is 100% whisky from when G+M started back up so its all new benromach.
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Postby Lawrence » Thu Apr 19, 2007 6:31 pm

vitara7 wrote:i noticed this a few months back, and after talking to keith the distillery manger, he said that this is due to the older traditional bottlings being quite a bit over aged.
the current traditional on the market is 100% whisky from when G+M started back up so its all new benromach.


Well there you go, a clear answer and I agree Admiral that an age statement would be helpful but I suspect we won't see that until they have a 10yo to offer.
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Postby misa » Sat Apr 21, 2007 1:30 am

When it´s traditional, it´s traditional. The change in consistency is always traditional. If it dissappoints you, you wait a few moments (months, years)and try a new bottle. Maybe it gets worse, maybe it turns out to be one of the best drams of your life. Oh the chances you have to take...
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Apr 24, 2007 8:56 pm

Best thing is, if a distillery launches a bottling that is superb and you love it, QUICKLY try and get as many of them as possible, and be content with your success.

Occasionally go to your local whisky bar and sample the newer bottlings to see how it has changed. If it changes to the better, buy again a load and be even more satisfied. You've got enough of your favorite tipple to last you for several years to come.
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Postby vitara7 » Tue Apr 24, 2007 10:24 pm

you still can buy bottles from the original benromach traditional release, just check the bottle codes.
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Postby Leither » Wed Apr 25, 2007 9:59 am

V7 - can you please tell me what the G&M codes are, I know the Broxburn/Glenmorangie ones (L4 then day in year) and Diageo (similar code) but never been able to work out the G&M ones. They seem to use two letters then another couple, with J's quite common - perhaps J is for year?
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Postby vitara7 » Wed Apr 25, 2007 1:38 pm

ive no idea what they are, sorry, but if you get an old bottle of it, check and compare the codes, youll know if its a old on or a new one.
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Postby Lawrence » Wed Apr 25, 2007 7:05 pm

My bottles, which I bought years ago when it first came out, have a lot code of either JO/AEO or JQ/AEQ, can't quite tell due to the font.

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