Why are so many whiskies Glen-something? That's a question we tried to answer last year. But Scotland is also famous for its Bens, like Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the British Isles. Did you know there are also a handful of "Ben-something" whiskies named after the hills and mountains of Scotland too? Well fear not, intrepid whisky explorer, because we take a tour of Scotland in our February 2020 whisky tasting box! We'll be journeying from hill to valley in a very moor-ish (see what we did there?) selection of whiskies from Glen to Ben.
Whiskies From Glen to Ben
We take a tasty tour of two Scottish distilleries named after Bens and Glens. First up is Glenturret, a recently reinvigorated Highland brand that's also one of Scotland's oldest distilleries. Our "Ben" whisky comes from Benromach, a Speyside distillery that's both old and new at the same time. So put on your walking boots, grab a glencairn, and let's get exploring!
Glenturret, Sherry Cask Edition
Our "Glen" for this box is Glenturret. Previously the home of Famous Grouse, it's also one of Scotland's oldest distilleries, with an early history steeped in illicit distilling. Nowadays, the distillery focuses on traditional, unhurried whisky-making. Its new owners, the makers of Lalique Crystal, have breathed new life into the centuries-old distillery. This bottling is from their no-longer-in-production legacy range, a small batch single malt matured exclusively in sherry seasoned European oak.
Glenturret,Triple Wood Edition
In this second legacy bottling, Glenturret's slow distilled, unpeated spirit is aged in three wood types for a rounded, complex flavour profile. Here, single malt aged in Sherry seasoned casks, made from both American and European oak, is married with ex-bourbon American oak. The result is a fruit-driven, sweet yet spicy, well balanced malt.
Glenturret,Aged 10 Years - Peat SmokedOur third Glen for this box, Glenturret Aged 10 Years Peat Smoked
Glenturret is one of the rare Highland distilleries that intermittently run peated malt through their stills throughout the year. This isn't a new thing: Glenturret records show peat smoke barley production as far back as the early 1800s. This 10 year old peated bottling is from their brand new 2020 maiden release, and forms part of the future vision of Glenturret's range - a modern take on a traditional style of whisky making. This is the third Glen whisky for this box and it's a must-try for peated whisky fans!
Benromach, Aged 10 Years
The "Ben" of this box comes from Benromach, whose name alludes to their water source in the Romach Hills, in Speyside. Bought and refitted by Gordon & MacPhail in 1993, the existing site had produced whisky as far back as 1898. After a recent brand refresh, their new bottles feature a sleek modern look with call-backs to their heritage. Their flagship 10 year old has been aged exclusively in first fill casks.
According to Benromach, this is the world's first certified organic single malt whisky. To create an organic whisky is clearly much more than a gimmick for Benromach: all of their whiskies focus on the pure, unmasked quality of the ingredients. This whisky is UK Soil Association certified organic from start to finish, and has been aged in virgin American oak casks.
Benromach,Aged 21 YearsBenromach Aged 21 Years is our special "Sixth Dram"
Our special "sixth dram" and third Ben whisky, Benromach 21 Year Old. For this single malt, Benromach's high-quality first fill bourbon and sherry casks make an appearance here again. Benromach's single malts use a medium peat barley to evoke the peat-fired stills of Speyside's history. After 21 years ageing, that smoke is refined and elegant here. A wonderful opportunity to try a well aged, subtly smoky Speyside malt next to its younger sibling - we couldn't pass this up!
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