Ooooooohh yeeeaahh. Got something special today. A BenRiach from their single cask range.
Literally all of the 2016 batch seemed to be finished, mostly in port casks, which dismayed me slightly. When I see ‘finished’ on a bottle of older whisky what I actually see is: ‘the original barrel was really tired.’
I also had a bad experience with this 36yo Glen Grant finished in a Brandy barrel. However, something caught my eye about this one. It wasn’t a crazy finish, it’s peated and the bloody age. It’s 40 years old.
Then at the show I got talking to the brand ambassador on the stand and he said that the Sherry finish was over 7 years! For me, that’s secondary maturation rather than a finish.
Said brand ambassador was then rather generous with the pour! Which was great as I got to spend a bit longer with this.
BenRiach 1975 Peated Sherry Finish 53%
Nose: Wow. Seriously fruity, really tropical with what I only managed to describe as SUPER MANGO, lots of peach flesh, light spice, light oak, cinnamon. Not really any smoke that I can detect but no surprise after 40 years. Really fresh actually.
After 5 mins a little smoke starts to appear.
Water: More spice and oak.
Taste: Big. Again that SUPER MANGO, cinnamon spice, more mango, some oak, amazingly fruity and fresh, then more vanilla continues.
Water: More spiced and more oak as with the nose, a little smoke going into the finish but becomes a little unbalanced.
Finish: Long length. More of that super fruitiness, mango and peach flesh.
What an incredibly fruity whisky, with very little smoke of any sort. Perhaps it was only lightly peated? At any rate, it was fantastic neat, but water undid the balance. Bit of a weird one to score but in the end I decided on…
Thanks for reading!
Network Average: 75.9
Best Score: 92
Worst Score: 44
60-64 Just about OK
65-69 Ok to Good
75-79 Very Good