At Maltstock I generally trade a lot of booze with other people. For some I bring samples, for others bottles. And for Billy Abbott of The Whisky Exchange, I normally bring a few beers and whatever I’ve got lying around that I think he’ll find interesting.
Luckily, that deal works both ways. The guys at The Whisky Exchange got in a couple new bottlings and Billy, being the awesome chap he is, brought some sample of them for me.
Add to that the fact that I am generally quite impressed by what BenRiach releases, and there was one of that distillery in the bag. I am a happy guy, and this is the first one I picked for in depth exploration.
Well, as far as 3 cl samples go, that is. In depth is more like half a bottle.
This is a curious BenRiach as well. It’s been triple distilled, which is something not many Scottish distilleries do anymore. As far as I know it’s only Auchentoshan for all their product, and BenRiach and Springbank for some of it.
The spirit is very light and quite unlike any other BenRiach I’ve had before (I never tried the triple distilled yet). There’s a sherry influence that’s pronounced, but not overpowering and quite gentle. Slightly ‘green’ with wet wood, leaves, barley, that kind of stuff. Also raisins and some other fruits. Certainly PX, with that added sweetness. Some orange after a while.
The palate is light again, but shows some ‘spirit’. It’s sweet with tropical fruit. Plums and dates, some peach. Also baking spices with cinnamon leading the way. It gets sweeter as you let it swim, and again, very late there some orange.
The finish shows slightly more sherry with flavors of raisin, spiced cake. Quite consistent with the palate, just a tad more sherry. The clean spirit is noticeable again too.
So, this is an interesting whisky. It’s different on many levels. The PX influence is much lighter than I’m used to from almost all bottlers and distillers. Also, the triple distilled whisky sure makes a big difference between this and regular BenRiach.
The funny thing is that my sentiment towards this whisky is what I’ve had with some drams over the last couple of weeks. At first I don’t really like it, but after I write the review I really want to have more of it. Especially with this dram, and how gentle it is, it would fill a void in my collection that ‘needs filling’. (Like I NEED more whisky…)
So, in short. A very interesting, easy drinking dram that does offer enough complexity to keep you interested in it. Good picking by The Whisky Exchange!
BenRiach 1998, 17yo, Triple Distilled with a PX Finish, 48.9% – OB for The Whisky Exchange. Available for £ 99.95
Thanks to The Whisky Exchange and Billy Abbott for the sample!