About 10 years ago, well, 10 months, I did a bottle share with two 25 year old BenRiachs. The regular one, and the peated Authenticus one. I also did a review of the regular one earlier after I tried at De Whiskykoning.
This one was still waiting to be reviewed and with the bottle nearing its end, I thought it was about high time I did just that.
Generally I like BenRiach. Having said that, I’ve never been a huge fan of their older peated expressions. I might love some 1976 peated whatever, but the Authentici at 21 and 25 years old have never been to my liking.
Gentle peat and quite a lot of malt. Some slate and basalt. Sawdust, mint, chalk. Builds up some intensity (which it needs) and becomes more smoky, and more woody. Some wood spices. Some cracked leather, a tinge or rubber. Shoes. Musty and funky.
Smooth but not without a punch. Quite some malt and thick, syrupy sweetness. Caster sugar, but not much vanilla. Tingling smoke and peat, with quite some oak. More vanilla after a couple of seconds. Herbaceous with conifer, mint and wood spices. Less funky, but with some leathery notes.
The peat is more forward here, but the whisky catches up quickly. Smoke, wood, malt. Fairly simple, but with some sweetness and some depth. Quite long.
This one needed quite a long time in a half empty bottle. It’s been open for about a year but I’ve never really enjoyed it as a casual dram. Now I’m sitting down for it and it
actually works quite well. It still isn’t nearly as good as the regular 25 year old, but it’s still quite good. I don’t think I’ve liked any ‘Authenticus’ as much as this one before now.
BenRiach 25yo, Authenticus (peated), 46%. Regularly available, with prices starting at € 170 in The Netherlands