Over to Benrinnes for an expression which has spent 9 years in 1st fill ex-bourbon before being transferred over to a 1st fill oloroso hogshead.
Nose: Chopped walnuts and maple pecan pie are set against polished oak tables and parquet flooring. Dark reduced berries and toasted bread are joined by a vinous quality – hot house flowers and very leafy green sherry. The addition of water presents hot pot spices – cinnamon, cumin and smoked paprika – alongside spiced brown bread. At this point it’s rather less of a dessert-like whisky.
Taste: The oloroso hoggie has certainly played its part here. Cocoa powder and chocolate sauce alongside tobacco pouches and chopped hazelnuts. Crunchy toffee apples, plums and plump raisins join cooking jus and oak-forward spicing from cinnamon and pepper. Water offers cayenne pepper piquancy which offsets some of the palpable sherry influence, retaining the boldness, but reducing the sweetness levels down a touch.
Finish: Medium to long with toasted nuts, sweet oven buns and bittersweet smoky spices.
A rather audacious Benrinnes which despite feeling jaggedly and over-intense in places, nevertheless, has a lot to offer in terms of its intensity and expressiveness. An enjoyable brute.