Benromach

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Owner.. Gordon & macphail
Founded.. 1898.
Region.. Speyside.
Capacity.. 500 000 litres.
Tel.. 01309 675968
Web.. http://www.benromach.com
Visitor centre.

Tours.

Bottle your own.

At BENROMACH, we handcraft our whisky and make it slowly, the time-honoured way. It’s why our 10 Year Old is brimming with gorgeous classic pre-1960s Speyside character. And every drop is fine enough to be savoured as a single malt.

Before the mid 1960s, Speyside distilleries malted their own barley. Hidden away in remote glens, they’d top up their fires with cuts of local peat when coal was running low. These slices were enough to impart a touch of smoke in the region’s whisky. And, with the advent of new commercial maltings in the swinging ‘60s, this subtle Speyside smokiness was lost to the world. But only for a while. Because our family bought the mothballed Benromach Distillery and gave the world back this lost style of whisky. But it’s not just the peat that makes the difference. Numerous nuances go into creating the classic character of Benromach.

It takes a long time to handcraft our single malt whisky, but we simply believe the slower, traditional way is best. Our pure spring water takes even longer to reach its peak of perfection. In fact, it takes thousands of years to percolate down through the sandstone and granite below the Romach Hills, acquiring its unique ‘Benromach fingerprint’ of minerals that make it so perfect for our whisky. And this same spring water has been the lifeblood of Benromach for over 100 years, ever since the distillery first opened in 1898.

We still fill EVERY CASK by HAND.
To be precise, our three distillers hand-fill every cask; they hammer in each bung by hand; they weigh every cask twice and notch it up on the blackboard. Nothing is automated at Benromach. We admit it’s more expensive to do everything the traditional way. But we believe it’s best for developing our gorgeous classic Speyside character: beautifully balanced with a touch of smoke.

Our GOOD WOOD policy means we only use first fill SHERRY and BOURBON casks.
We go to obsessive lengths to ensure our whisky is nothing short of perfect. We stubbornly insist on only using the highest quality first fill casks. They come from a variety of sources. We take casks from the bodegas of one of the world’s leading sherry houses in Spain: Williams and Humbert. We also have new oak casks made to our exact specifications of thickness of stave and level of charring by Antonio Paez Lobato. Our casks are used to mature sherry for 3 years before they’re emptied and shipped here. We also select ex-bourbon barrels, which are shipped from America and coopered in Speyside before being sent to Benromach. We keep tight control of the whole maturation process so that the wood holding our spirit lends just the right characteristics.

Our CLASSIC Speyside character matures best in traditional cooler, lower WAREHOUSES.
After hand-filling a cask with fresh Benromach spirit, we roll it to one of our traditional warehouses. ‘Dunnage’ is the word to those in the know. These are the archetypal old whisky warehouses: long, low and whitewashed with an earthen floor. They keep the casks consistently cool all year round: the best conditions for maturing Scotch malt whisky. Casks are not stowed on metal racks 10 or 12 casks high, instead we keep them the old way: no more than 3 high on wooden stows. We leave them to mature for many years, under the watchful eye of our distillery manager.

Over time, a little evaporation takes place, which is known in the whisky world as the angel’s share. It could be said that we enjoy the same angelic privilege when we test tiny samples of our whisky’s beautiful emerging character.

When we know our whisky is ready, we take the casks 12 miles down the road to Elgin. There, we fill our bottles and despatch them around the world, ready for whisky lovers everywhere to enjoy the very unique and special character of Benromach.

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