BenRiach, besides being a fun name to say, turns out some underrated excellent whiskies. They’re known mostly for their experimental approach to cask types. Most of their line-up has focused on unpeated offerings.
Our local Glendronach/BenRiach representative (Rory Glasgow) turned up at the Whisky Shop with a line-up of complimentary tastings (they’re “complimentary” but we always end up buying a bottle so I wouldn’t say it’s economically efficient) and pointed to the BenRiach 21 as his current favorite – and it ended up being ours too.
The 21-year-old whisky is aged in four casks: bourbon, virgin oak, Oloroso, and Pedro Ximenez sherry casks.
- Score - 8/108/10
Nose: White sugar cubes and peat. toasted wood floorboards, marshmellow, burnt straw, Candied oranges and apples, bandaids, peaches.
Palate: Instant peat but is soft and not overbearing. Vanilla and fudgey sweetness comes through and then ends on a lingering wafting salty smoke. Honey, Sauvignon Blanc .
Finish: Long long finish of smoke on the tongue, like roasted barrel staves, I can feel it minutes afterward.
Overview: The peat is tempered a bit by the age so that it’s not obnoxious. This is a lovely dram that’s dessert-like.
TLDR: Tempered peat
Score: 8/10. Bought for $158 at the Whisky Shop (when they do tastings, it’s 10% off)
Quick overview of our scoring system. Note that we try to give a “5” for an average whisky, which is lower than standard whisky scoring guides (typically around 80).
- Age: 21 year
- ABV: 46%
- Cask type: Bourbon, virgin oak, Oloroso, PX