From Benromach recently a package arrived with the latest expression in the wood finish range called the Hermitage 2007. Before in this limited edition line up there was the Hermitage 2005, Château Cissac 2006 and Sassicaia 2007 (click links for my notes on them). This whisky first matured in bourbon barrels for six years, then transferred to oak casks that once held wine from the Hermitage Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée, in the northern Rhône region of France, and finished for another 31 months before being bottled at 45%. The nose makes me wonder a bit what to think of it with writing down notes of sawdust, red apples, tobacco leaves, ginger, hint of balsamic vinegar, dark rye raisin bread, salty soy sauce, butter, wood spices, vanilla, macademia nuts, almonds, cocos, dried and fresh floral notes, elder flower syrup and orange peel. There is fruit sweetness underneath this all but covered a bit by the floral notes on the nose. After a while in the glass the harsher notes mix a bit more making it floral and fruity. The palate shows a lot of the same fruit but most of all floral sweetness. It has some thick toffee sweet flavour going on with roses and a bunch of mixed wild flowers. Soft baking spices, vanilla, wood and sultanas. A short burst of blackberries, lemon, oranges and cherries but that fades away quickly sadly and releases the wood and nutty (dryer) notes more on the short finish. I find it to be a strange but interesting one, some notes in it I like and others not. But it all seems to work in a way… Scoring it an 7/10. Thanks Benromach for sending over the sample to explore this latest wood finish expression.