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BENORMAN WHISKY



Jeste li ikada naišli na whisky Benorman? Pretpostavljam da niste. Čini se da ni Google ni Whiskybase nisu upoznati s njim. Nevjerojatno je da u 2023. godini postoje pojmovi koje ne možete pronaći putem internetskih tražilica. Upravo me ta činjenica potaknula da napišem par riječi o Benormanu, blended maltu, te o kompaniji Pountain & Co koja ga je godinama pažljivo blendala i maturirala u svojim skladištima u Derbyju, Engleska. U to doba, destilat iz škotskih destilerija mogao je sazrijevati izvan Škotske i još uvijek se nazivati scotch, sve dok 1988. godine nije usvojen Scotch Whisky Act koji je propisao da škotski viski mora sazrijevati i biti buteljiran unutar Škotske kako bi zadržao taj naziv.

Ono što me iznenađuje je činjenica da blended malt whisky, Benorman, koji je bio reklamiran

32 godine (od 1907. do 1939., s izuzetkom razdoblja Prvog svjetskog rata i par godina

kasnije) u lokalnim novinama, te tvrtka koja je osnovana 1885. i koja je bila jedna od uglednijih firmi specijaliziranih za trgovinu vinom i alkoholom te je do 1953. godine posjedovala čak 31 prestižnih pubova u Derbyju, ima tako malo informacija u tražilicama. O Benormanu – ništa. Smatram da je vrijeme da se to promijeni, posebno s obzirom na to da su isticali godine i "pure malt" (iako se zapravo radilo o blended maltovima) u vremenu kada su se uglavnom reklamirali i prodavali blended scotch bez naznake godina.

Stoga se nadam da će, počevši od danas, svaka pretraga za Benormanom putem internetskih tražilicama donijeti rezultate.


U Derbyju su se četvorica uglednih gospodina udružila:

Major John Thomas Pountain, vlasnik puba i vinskih podruma na Market Placeu,

Frederick Girardot, vlasnikom telegrafske postaje.

Robert Forman, čija obitelj već generacijama posjeduje brojne pubove u Derbyju (do 1885. g. imali su ih 11). Zanimljivo je da firma "Pountain & Co" često ističe svoju tradiciju koja seže sve do 1763. godine, možda je razlog Formanova obitelj koja je već dugo poznata kao vlasnik pubova. Četvrti član ovog tima bio je C. Brentell.

Dotična gospoda je spojila svoje prethodne tvrtke i osnovala novu pod nazivom "Pountain Girardot & Forman Ltd.", koja će kasnije postati poznata kao "Pountain & Co". Firma je osnovana 30.09.1885. s kapitalom od 100.000 funti, a registrirana je za trgovinu kao pivovara, proizvođač slada, trgovac vinom i žestokim pićima, te trgovac žitaricama i sjemenjem.

Nisu gubili vrijeme, te su brzo otvorili svoju trgovinu vina i žestokih pića na izuzetno atraktivnoj lokaciji u Derbyju - na Market Placeu.

Prva njihova reklama objavljena je 1907. godine u lokalnom listu "Derby Daily Telegraph", u kojoj su istaknuli pure malt, blended malt stariji od 7 godina. Posebno je zanimljivo kako su nudili blended scotch naglašavajući prisutnost graina u njoj.

Poslovanje im je očigledno cvjetalo, jer do 1915. godine redovito su reklamirali svoj pure malt Benorman, ali i porto vino "Hunt" te pjenušavo vino "De Belfontaine". S vremenom je njihov Benorman dobio različite verzije, pa tako možemo pronaći verzije stare 7, 10 i 15 godina. Pountain je u svojim reklamama isticao da sami blendaju i dozrijevaju Benorman, opisujući ga kao mješavinu najfinijih pure maltova sa highlandsa. Karakteristike koje su ga izdvajale bile su čistoća, mekoća i prepoznatljiv okus. Nakon deset godina dozrijevanja, Benorman je odležavao još godinu dana prije punjenja u boce. Ime ne znam od kuda dolazi, ali lako moguće da se radi o akronimu imena i prezimena Forman i njegovih sinova. Zvuči baš dobro, zar ne?

Cijena Benormana svrstavala se među najskupljim alkoholna pićem u ponudi Pountain & Co,

no fascinira me kako su već tada imali izražen osjećaj za kvalitetu te kako su naglašavali i promovirali pure malt s naznačenom starošću. Posljednju reklamu za Benorman nalazimo iz

božićnog perioda 1939. godine. Nakon toga, tragovi ovog viskija blijede. Iako je tvrtka Pontain & Co nastavila s radom, precizne informacije o njenom trajanju su nejasne. Vjerujem da bi arhiva u Derbyju otkrila ovaj misterij, ali to istraživanje ću morati ostaviti za neki drugi put, kada posjetim Englesku. Do 1953. godine posjedovali su čak 31 puba u Derbyju i okolici, a njihovi su pubovi bili poznati po visokom standardu. Godine 1953., pivovara Streton's (dio Ind Coope grupe) preuzima većinu dionica Pontain & Co, pretpostavljam, samo dio posla povezan sa pivom i pubove. Usprkos promjenama, Pountain & Co naglašava da će njihova kvaliteta i dalje ostati nepromijenjena, te da će uvoziti više kvalitetnijeg pića.


Fotografije Derbyja iz 50-ih godina pokazuju da je trgovina Pountain & Co još uvijek prisutna, s njihovim logotipom na zgradi (koji propada). 1963. oglašavaju se jednom reklamom za sherry, ali se ne spominje više viski Benorman. Godine 1969. zabilježena je provala u njihovim prostorijama, što sugerira da su još uvijek bili aktivni, nisam sigurna da li kao uredske prostorije ili dućan. Slika sa početkom 70-tih nam kazuje da je bio drugi dućan na njihovom mjestu – Oxyfam. 1972. godine, kreće rušenje zgrade u kojem je nekoć Pountain & Co godinama imao svoj dućan kako bi ustupila mjesto "Assembly Rooms", modernom kompleksu koji je završen 1977. godine. Par izovra s interneta govori da je Pountain & Co imao urede unutar tog kompleksa tijekom 70-ih, ali konkretni detalji su nejasni.



Prva slika: u desnom kutu se vidi zgrada i logo Pountain & Co. Slikano 50-tih. Izvor: https://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/news/nostalgia/city-centre-home-seven-furniture-2116187

Druga slika: slikana početkom 70-tih netom prije rušenja zgrade. Izvor: https://www.ribapix.com/Market-Place-Derby-showing-the-site-of-the-proposed-Civic-Hall_RIBA39049

Treća slika: moderni kompleks Assembly rooms koji je izrađen na mjestu Pountain & Co. Izvor: https://c20society.org.uk/news/derby-assembly-rooms-facing-demolition


Pretpostavljam da tokom Drugog svjetskog rata nisu mogli proizvoditi svoje blendove zbog restrikcija destilacije koje su trajale sve do 60-ih godina. Da li su imali stare zalihe viskija, ostaje misterij. Nažalost, prilikom pretrage aukcija nisam pronašla Benorman whisky. Jedino što sam pronašla je boca ruma s potpisom Pountain & Co.

Izvor: https://www.oldspiritscompany.com/products/pountain-co-fine-old-jamaica-rum-1940s-40-75cl

Destilerije koje su bile uključene u proizvodnju Benormana ostaju također nepoznate, iako pretpostavljam da su se mijenjale tokom godina. Zanima me koliko je takvih neotkrivenih blendova postojalo, o kojima većina nikada nije čula. No, barem ste sada upoznati s Benormanom.

Ukoliko ikada naiđete na bocu Benormana (ili ju posjedujete), ako imate dodatne informacije o Pountain & Co, molim vas da me kontaktirate kako bismo dopunili ili ispravili informacije. Bila bi vam jako zahvalna.



Ovaj članak odražava naše mišljenje i saznanja. Ukoliko je nešto krivo navedeno, molilm Vas da nas kontaktirate.





 

BENORMAN WHISKY



Have you ever come across Benorman whisky? I assume you haven't. It seems that neither Google nor Whiskybase are familiar with it. It's incredible that in 2023 there are things you can't find via internet search engines. This very fact prompted me to write a few words about Benorman, a blended malt, and about the Pountain & Co company that carefully blended and matured it for years on their site in Derby, England. At that time, distillate from Scottish distilleries could mature outside of Scotland and still be called scotch, until the Scotch Whisky Act was adopted in 1988, which said that Scotch whisky must mature and be bottled within Scotland to retain that name.

What surprises me is the fact that the blended malt whisky, Benorman, which was advertised for 32 years (from 1907 to 1939, except for the period of World War I and a few years later) in local newspapers, and the company established in 1885, which was one of the reputable firms specializing in wine and liquor trade and owned as many as 31 prestigious pubs in Derby by 1953, has so little information in search engines. About Benorman - nothing. I believe it's time for that to change, especially considering that their whisky was age stated and "pure malt" (although it was actually blended malt) at a time when mainly blended scotch without age statement was advertised and sold. So I hope that, starting today, every search for Benorman via internet search engines will yield results.

In Derby, four gentlemen joined forces: Major John Thomas Pountain, owner of a pub and wine vaults at Market Place, Frederick Girardot, owner of a telegraph. Robert Forman, whose family had owned numerous pubs in Derby for generations (they had 11 by 1885). Interestingly, the company "Pountain & Co" often emphasizes its tradition dating back to 1763. Perhaps the reason is the Forman family, long known as pub owners. The fourth member of this team was C. Brentell. These gentlemen merged their previous companies and founded a new one called "Pountain Girardot & Forman Ltd.", which later became known as "Pountain & Co". The company was founded on 30.09.1885, with a capital of 100,000 pounds, registered for trade as a brewery, maltsters, wine and spirits merchant, and grain and seed trader. They didn't waste time and quickly opened their wine and spirits shop at a very attractive location in Derby - at Market Place. Their first advertisement was published in 1907 in the local newspaper "Derby Daily Telegraph", highlighting pure malt, blended malt older than 7 years. It is particularly interesting how they also offered blended scotch emphasizing the presence of grain in it.

Their business was obviously thriving, because by 1915 they regularly advertised their pure malt Benorman, as well as Hunt port wine and De Belfontaine sparkling wine. Over time, their Benorman had different age statement, so we can find versions aged 7, 10, and 15 years. Pountain emphasized in their advertisements that they blended and matured Benorman themselves, describing it as a blend of the finest pure malts from the Highlands. Characteristics that set it apart were purity, softness, and distinctive taste. After ten years of maturing, Benorman aged for another year before bottling. I don't know where the name comes from, but it's likely an acronym of the names and surnames of Forman and his sons. Sounds good, doesn't it?

The price of Benorman ranked among the most expensive alcoholic beverages offered by Pountain & Co, but I am fascinated by how they already had a pronounced sense of quality and how they emphasized and promoted pure malt with indicated age. The last advertisement for Benorman is from the Christmas period of 1939. After that, traces of this whisky fade. Although the Pountain & Co company continued to operate, precise information about its duration is unclear. I believe that the archive in Derby would reveal this mystery, but I'll have to leave that research for another time, when I visit England.


By 1953, they owned as many as 31 pubs in and around Derby, and their pubs were known for their high standard. In 1953, the Streton's Brewery (part of the Ind Coope group) took over most of the shares of Pountain & Co, I assume, only the part of the business related to brewery and pubs. Despite the changes, Pountain & Co emphasized that their quality would remain unchanged and that they would import more quality drinks.


Photos of Derby from the 50s show that the Pountain & Co store was still present, with their logo on the building (which is decaying). 1963 they advertise with an ad for sherry, but there is no more mention of Benorman whisky. In 1969, there was a break-in in their premises, suggesting that they were still active, I'm not sure if as office space or a store. A picture from the early 70s tells us that there was another store on the premises - Oxyfam. In 1972, the demolition of the building that once housed Pountain & Co for years began to make way for "Assembly Rooms", a modern complex completed in 1977. A couple of sources on the internet say that Pountain & Co had offices within that complex during the 70s, but the exact details are unclear.


First picture: in the right corner, you can see the building and Pountain & Co logo. Taken in the 50s. Source: https://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/news/nostalgia/city-centre-home-seven-furniture-2116187

Second picture: taken in the early 70s just before the building was demolished. Source: https://www.ribapix.com/Market-Place-Derby-showing-the-site-of-the-proposed-Civic-Hall_RIBA39049

Third picture: the modern Assembly Rooms complex built on the site of Pountain & Co. Source: https://c20society.org.uk/news/derby-assembly-rooms-facing-demolition


I assume that during World War II they could not produce their blends due to distillation restrictions that lasted until the 60s. Whether they had old stocks of whisky remains a mystery. Unfortunately, when searching auctions, I did not find Benorman whisky. All I found was a bottle of rum signed by Pontain & Co.

Source: https://www.oldspiritscompany.com/products/pountain-co-fine-old-jamaica-rum-1940s-40-75cl

Distilleries that were involved in the production of Benroman remain unknown, although I assume they have changed over the years. I wonder how many of such undiscovered blends existed, of which most have never heard. However, you are now familiar with Benorman. If you ever come across a bottle of Benorman (or own one), if you have additional information about Pountain & Co, please contact me so we can supplement or correct the information. I would be very grateful.

This text has been written as a personal reflection and does not represent expert opinion. If you believe something is incorrect or wrongly stated, please feel free to contact us.




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2 Comments


Guest
Oct 26, 2023

I really appreciate this article!!! It's hard to believe that such long lasting company from the "recent" past has left almost no footprint on the internet!

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G&G
G&G
Oct 27, 2023
Replying to

Thank you very much. Yes, exactly. I hope that with this article I revived Benorman and Pountain & Co.

Gordana

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