Our distillery has been making Benromach since 1898 using the same spring water rising in nearby Romach Hills. At Benromach we handcraft our single malt scotch 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. Using the finest natural ingredients our 3 distillers orchestrate every second of the distillation process; there are no short cuts to perfection. We make it this way to give our whisky that gorgeous pre-1960s Speyside character: beautifully balanced with a light touch of smoke.
Making whisky by hand is a rare craft these days.
A long time ago it wasn’t uncommon for Speyside whiskies to have a touch of smoke.
Using the finest natural ingredients our dedicated distillers orchestrate every second of the distillation process; there are no short cuts to perfection. We make it this way to give our whisky its classic Speyside character: beautifully balanced with a light touch of smoke. Making whisky by hand is a rare craft these days. Here you can read and watch our short stories about how we go about it. For the full story about our families roots in Benromach, watch this film and Keith, Ewen, Stuart, Michael and Laura will tell you how we revived a lost taste of Speyside. We call it Taste Rediscovered.
We make Benromach with the finest Scottish ingredients.
Our Scottish barley is grown locally and malted with a little peat smoke to our exact specifications. Our pure soft water rises in the Chapelton Spring in the Romach Hills, just a couple of miles behind our distillery. Together with our traditional use of both brewer’s and distiller’s yeast, these are the raw ingredients for making our single malt whisky.
Every process is just as considered in the making of our malt. It means we make less whisky, but we do it in this way in order to create Benromach’s gorgeous classic Speyside character: beautifully balanced with a light touch of smoke.
If our whisky takes a long time, our water takes even longer.
It takes many years 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 don’t just make our whisky by hand; we make it by sight, sound and touch.
Our distillers employ all their senses as they craft our single malt whisky. They’re so skilled, they just know when things are right. But at Benromach, handcrafting is never guesswork; it’s an art. With absolutely no computers or even pressure gauges, our experts manage the entire process by how the developing spirit looks, sounds and feels – and by it’s aroma – giving things a tweak here and there along the way. Granted, this takes a little longer and it keeps our distillers busier. To quote Keith, our head distiller: “Sometimes it’s those tiny inconsistencies that make a whisky so beautifully consistent.”
We designed our stills to create a gorgeous medium-bodied spirit, perfect for long maturation.
Benromach is a curious irony. We make all our whisky in the time-honoured way by hand – the way all whisky used to be made before computers took over. Yet we started to completely refit our distillery in 1993, which makes it sound remarkably modern. The truth of the matter is this: we deliberately refitted Benromach so that even the tiniest details help us develop the classic Speyside character we want: beautifully balanced with a light touch of smoke. Our gleaming copper stills are at the heart of this process, producing the sweet medium-bodied spirit we need for a long maturation. It’s a beautiful, traditional whisky by design, not accident.
We cut the spirit by hand; It’s a rare art these days.
The skill of our dedicated distillers is especially critical when it comes to cutting the spirit. They judge when to ‘come on spirit’: the moment when they consider the new spirit to be of the highest quality. Levers are pulled and this sweet heart of the run goes to spend years maturing in our first fill casks, the rest of the run to be distilled again the following day.
We make our whisky slowly so that it’s brimming with gorgeous Speyside character.
Nothing is hurried at Benromach. We even take our time over the fermenting, allowing the wash to linger for between 3 and 5 days in the wooden washbacks to help develop the right quality of spirit. And when the heart of the run has been cut, the spirit rests in our high quality first fill casks for as many years as it needs.
We believe this is the only way to create that classic Speyside character, beautifully balanced with a light touch of smoke.
We still fill every cask by hand.
To be precise, our 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.
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.
Our good wood policy means we only use first fill sherry and bourbon casks.
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 to our whisky. After hand-filling a cask with fresh Benromach spirit, we roll it to one of our traditional warehouses
Our whisky matures in traditional ‘dunnage’ style warehouses.
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 kept 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.
Generations of whisky loving go into making Benromach.
We’re happy to say that Benromach is a family-run distillery. And there’s a story behind why we make every drop of our whisky in the traditional handcrafted way. Our story, starts generations ago. Our family, the Urquharts of Elgin, have always been passionate about whisky. Our ancestor John began laying down casks of single malt at different distilleries in 1915, when everyone else was blending their whiskies. As a result, over the decades, our family has accumulated a remarkable private collection of extremely rare and beautiful aged single malts.
So when we bought the mothballed distillery here at Benromach in 1993, we knew we wanted to revive it in a very particular way. Backed by generations of expertise, we decided to recreate the lost taste of gorgeous old Speyside whisky: beautifully balanced with a touch of smoke.
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