ABV: 61.5% Distillery: BenRiach Bottler: Scotch Malt Whisky Society Flavour Profile: Young & spritely Region: Speyside
Distilled in September of 2009 this Benriach has been matured in a 1st fill ex-bourbon barrel for 8 years. Young & Spritely profile.
Nose: Lively and sweet aromas of cake icing and caster sugar sit alongside sharper flavours of unripe tart apples, ‘green’ white wine, and spicy vegetables – bell and chilli peppers. Alongside there are light florals from violets and roses, gentle vanilla and a musky spice. Water gives definition to the spicing (cardamom and cinnamon) as well as introducing buttered corn.
Taste: Quite hostile neat (water feels essential here). This delivers an interesting assortment of savoury flavours – mushrooms, chilli peppers, spring onions and boiled greens. The vegetal flavours are lifted by some hints of toffee as well as some florals – roses in particular. Spicing is quite sharp – cinnamon and a fair sprinkle of salt. The addition of water smooths most of the edges (particularly the arrival), adding in some creamy flavour, nuttiness and natural earth.
Finish: Medium in length and offering up a mix of warming earthy spice and nuts.
This Benriach is too big for me without water, but it takes dilution well, presenting a highly vegetal character with hints of sweetness and nuts. Despite falling into the Society’s Young & Spritely flavour profile, don’t be fooled into thinking this is a starter whisky – there’s a ton of character here, and it may take your palate a while to warm up to its savoury-driven flavours.
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