Thanks to /u/cake_my_day for this sample.
This past year I had to think of my “distillery of the year”. Or my “whisky of the year”. If I had to chose one, it would be BenRiach. Because I liked them back 2 years ago.
Well, that was a pathetic intro. Let’s try again.
Awhile ago I started to think about distilleries I enjoy. Ones that don’t let me down. And while I’m not 100% in love with it, BenRiach is one of those.
Ah. There. That’s better.
So I’ve reviewed a lot of BenRiach offerings. I’ve bought two this year blind. Not actually blind, mind you, but without knowing what I’m doing.
I also swapped for BenRiach 25, one of the non-peated ones I’ve never had. So I’m curious about it. While I’ve typically enjoyed their Peated expressions more, I still hold out hope that the non-peated ones will emerge like some candy coated butterfly of tastiness from the cocoon casks of yesteryear.
That was a little nerdy.
Anyway, uses 3 different casks to age this one:ex-Bourbon, Oloroso, and Virgin Oak. That’s a different mix. Very light flavours compared to, say, a PX cask or Port.
This is also the older BenRiach 25 which is higher Abv, so take that as you will.
Oh well. Let’s see how it tastes.
Price: $348.90 (CAD) at the LCBO (This is the price of the lower Abv. Confused yet?)
Colour: 7.5YR 5/8
Nose: Cereal, ginger, plum, oak, being at a farm, eucalyptus, cinnamon, bubblegum, carrot cake
Big nose on this, like someone with a big nose.
Hmm… guess all my similes can’t be amazing.
Lots of notes that pop from the Virgin oak influence. Like the earthiness in this.
Taste: Ginger, wood, cinnamon, butter, orange, peach jam, pepper
Little simpler than the nose was letting on. There’s nice notes here, don’t get me wrong, like someone getting me the opposite of right, however I wanted more farm time, like a toddler from the city having a pout… because they shit themselves.
Spice and citrus, like a GMILF here. Could be better.
Finish: Peach, molasses, pepper, sand, ginger, tropical fruit juice, anise, carrot, caramel
The finish is really fruity and dry, somehow, at the same time. If I was doing this blind, which I basically do for all my drams (other than knowing the names), I’d assume it had a rum influence. Or that it may be a little rummy. Rumming down my leg.
What the Fuck was that? Okay, forget I wrote that, I’ve been drinking too much and I’m behind on drams. What I am saying is the sherry influence is big at the end, and melds well with the bourbon influence to give us a sweet surprise.
Conclusion: This is pretty good. I knew that my non-peated Prince Dramming would come if I waited long enough. And really you should be waiting until at least 25 for a Prince. Not for Prince or Prints though, because they are readily available.
I took off one mark for a lacking taste, yet liked the Nose and Finish. Actually want to try the 30 year now, if only to see how it grows even more. Good job as usual BenRirach, wherever you are (I’m guessing Scotland).
Scotch review #385, Speyside review #113, Whisky Network review #590
1001 Whiskies to taste before you die review #260