BenRiach is a distillery that had not attracted my attention, until that is my brother in law, chose their Sauternes Finished 15 Year Old for one of our whisky club events. This obviously had a profound impact on him, because when it came to my birthday he also chose me four miniatures from the BenRiach range to try out.
This 16 Year Old dram is the first of two that I will review (The other two I enjoyed, review free!)
BenRiach is a Speyside distillery, which is owned by the same people as Glenglassaugh and Glendronach. It is based in the heart of Speyside, in the North East region of Morayshire. The story of BenRiach distillery is an amazing one. It was built in 1898, only operated for two years, until it was mothballed. It remained non-operational for 65 years. Amazingly though, it stayed fully built and was opened again in 1965.
Appearance: Light, toffee popcorn brown.
Aroma: Zesty citrus, spicy oak and sweet toffee. This is followed by a light marshmallow vanilla that lays over the top like a cloud.
Taste: Vanilla, toasted breakfast cereal and lemon all mingle together at the start of this dram. They provide all that you expect from a Speyside whisky, but a mellow, classy, well-aged spirit.
This sweetness gives way to a warming, gently building spice. It is spicy, but it’s not like falling off a cliff into a deep pool of spice, more like pulling on your bathers and walking slowly into a sea of spice. This spice sea is made up of cinnamon, star anise and cumin.
This spice sticks around gently lapping at the tongue, like waves on a long, flat flavour beach. Vanilla washes up and over the palate, repeatedly treating the mouth to its sweet, creamy notes. Swirling inside is a mellow oak
Mouthfeel: Light, sweet and creamy.
Overall: This is a really drinkable malt, almost too drinkable. It is smooth, the spice builds throughout and there is a creamy finish that makes the dram a delight to drink.
Real Dram Factor: 7.9
Source: Birthday Present Miniature
More Information: www.benriachdistilery.co.uk