Aged Spirits  

Fahrenheit 173 - Aged Spirits

"If it's not good enough to drink slowly, then it's not worth drinking"

Benriach extravaganza

 18 Feb 2007  

Benriach used to be a largely forgotten (or ignored) dis­til­lery. In 2004 it changed owners and since then a large number of impressive bottlings have been released, among them my two most re­cent whisky of the month: The 1976 vintage and the very unusual 1980 "new wood".

Last weekend I attended a tast­ing of many dif­fer­ent Benriach ex­pres­sions. Several of them were finishes from various kinds of casks. I'm usually wary of finishes but I must admit that these were rather good! Well, most of them...

Thanks go to Lukas and Philipp and to Billy Walker from Benriach who provided the cask samples!

My tast­ing notes:

Benriach 1994 Port finish, peated (cask sample):
Peaty, fruity nose; very peaty palate with an in­ter­est­ing fruitiness and a cereal note (85 p)

Benriach 1994 Rum finish, peated (cask sample):
Rich, very nice nose with a lot of rum; quite peaty, quite nice palate with a cereal note; more whisky and less rum than the 15 y.o. "Dark Rum" (85 p)

Benriach 1994 Pedro Ximénez finish, peated (cask sample):
Peaty and intensely fruity nose; very peaty and quite rich palate (a little too much of both the fruit and the peat) (82 p)

Benriach 1992 Sauternes finish (cask sample):
Fresh, herbal, quite nice nose; sweet, fairly rich and fairly spicy palate; nicely bal­anced (84 p)

Benriach 1991 Burgundy finish (cask sample):
Wonderful, light, fresh, fragrant nose with notes of herbs and hay; nice, bal­anced palate with a note of mint; slightly dis­ap­point­ing finish, however (87 p)

Benriach 1991 Claret finish (cask sample):
Quieter nose than the Burgundy but richer palate; rich, fruity and quite nice palate with a "winey" character, also slightly fiery (86 p)

Benriach 1991 Moscatel finish (cask sample):
Nice, sweet palate but de­velops a sharp note; in­ter­est­ing but not entirely convincing (83 p)

Benriach 1991 Tokay finish (cask sample):
IPA (isopropyl alcohol) and a hint of fruit on the nose; IPA and a bit more fruit on the palate; all in all clean but very chemical (60 p)

Benriach 15 y.o. Dark Rum finish:
Very nice, herbal, rum-like nose; nice yet quite spicy palate (the most rum-like whisky ever!) (84 p)

Benriach 16 y.o.:
Sweet and fruity with a note of violet candy; also quite smoky; all in all complex and quite nice (86 p)

Benriach 1985 Oloroso finish, peated (cask sample):
Nice, bal­anced and fairly peaty; quite peaty finish (not a lot of sherry though) (83? p)

Benriach 1980 New oak:
Very nice, rich, fragrant nose with vanilla (almost like an old bourbon); rich, sweet palate with vanilla and coconut; drying towards the finish which has a little too much oak (90 p)

Benriach 1977 Oloroso wood, peated (cask sample):
Mild, fruity palate with a dry sherry character; the peat is at first restrained but gets stronger in the finish (85-86 p)

Benriach 1977 (cask sample):
Sweet, fruity and a little spicy; complex and very nice (similar to the first 20 y.o.) (88-89 p)

Benriach 1976 Sherry wood (Signatory) cask 9442:
Quite peaty nose; peaty, bal­anced palate with only a hint of the sherry (87-88 p)

Benriach 1970 (cask sample):
Spices and dried fruit on the nose; very nice palate with notes of ginger, cinnamon and dried fruit; slightly peaty finish (89 p)

—   o   —

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