BenRiach 15 years Sherry Finish 46%

Matured in American ex-bourbon casks and finished in Pedro Ximenez ex-sherry casks.

BenRiach spirit still
BenRiach spirit still

Nose: Raspberry jam, dried fruit and vanilla. With water the jam turns more towards orance marmelade, and there is some burned sugar as well.

Palate: Burned sugar, plum preserves and oak. More bitterness with water, otherwise much the same.

Comments: A somewhat tame sherrymonster, I’d call it. Quite well balanced and not at all bad, but just too sweet for my palate to make the top grade.

BenRiach 25 years 50%

Shhh, whisky sleeping! The warehouse at BenRiach.
Shhh, whisky sleeping! The warehouse at BenRiach.

Nose: Vanilla, sauna, orange marmelade. With water dried cranberries, black pepper, honey and lavender.

Palate: Wooden planks warmed by the sun, a bitter oak note, hints of dried fruits. Water opens for apricot and honey, and for toffee and a hint of liquorice on the finish.

Comments: Nice complexity, though it needs a little time in the glass to open properly. There is too much wood on both the nose and palate for my taste, but only just too much, so if you’re more into old whisky than I am, you should definitely check this one out.

BenRiach Heavily Peated 1994 Signatory Un-Chillfiltered Collection 46%

IMG_20130522_21445610 år gammel, destillert 20.06.1994, tappet 11.10.2004, hogshead fat nummer 1643.

Nose: “Heavily peated” is no lie, the peat smoke hits you even as you’re pouring your dram. In addition I find oranges and grapefruit and something juniper bush’esque. With water the fruit turns to apricots or peaches, but the smoke stays. It smells like a kiln.

Palate: Peat smoke and juniper wood. With water a fruitcakey sweetness appears.

Comments: A perfectly drinkable peated dram, but no stunner. Better on the nose than on the palate.