Benromach Château Cissac Bordeaux Wood Finish 2010

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That’s a lot of words for the title of whisky, but in reality it’s actually quite straight forward. The folks at Benromach have expanded their Wood Finish portfolio by releasing a new expression, the Château Cissac Bordeaux Wood Finish 2010. This whisky will sit alongside the Hermitage and Sassicaia wood finishes, with a previous version (the 2009 Château Cissac wood finish) having been released last year. This incarnation was distilled in 2010 and initially matured in first fill bourbon barrels before being finished for just over two years in hand-selected Château Cissac Bordeaux wine casks, which is an almost identical regime to the 2009 version.

Commenting on the release, Keith Cruickshank, Benromach Distillery Manager, said: “Our latest Wood Finish is a welcome addition to our ‘Contrasts’ range of single malt Scotch whiskies. All our Wood Finishes, including our Château Cissac Bordeaux Wood Finish 2009 which we launched last year, have been really well received by whisky lovers around the world. I’m confident that Benromach Château Cissac Bordeaux Wood Finish 2010, with its unique and appealing characteristics, will be appreciated by new and existing Benromach enthusiasts. At our distillery in Forres, we’ve always been unafraid to innovate, and we hope those who enjoy our flagship Benromach 10 Years Old will enjoy exploring our different finishes.”

Here we go.

Benromach Château Cissac Bordeaux Wood Finish
2010 Vintage
7,789 bottles
45% ABV
£47.75 RRP

Nose: Quite intensely fruity, with mango, strawberry, peach yoghurt, papaya, lychee, orange oils and toffee apple. Then the richness comes through, with blackcurrant cordial, ground coffee and charred oak.

Palate: Black pepper spice, charred oak, burnt heather and woodsmoke. Once these subside, the fruit then emerges, with dark cherry, prune, sticky dates, some treacle, dark chocolate and grippy tannins. A lot ‘darker’ than the nose suggested.

Finish: The smoke lingers, with manuka honey and black tea. There’s some drying oak too.

Overall: Yet another chalk mark in the ‘success’ column when it comes to wine-finished whisky. Perhaps my palate is changing, or perhaps the quality really is improving as the years go by – I’ve said before that wine-finished whiskies are very hit and miss with me but several recent releases have impressed and this is no different. A rich, spicy, smoky, fruity whisky, which ticks plenty of boxes in my book. Top stuff.



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