BenRiach 15, 1999-2014, Refill Hogshead 21141, 56.7% – OB for Slijterij Vonk

Slijterij Vonk is a bottle shop not too far from where I live, and even though I hadn’t been there for ages, I started visiting the place a little bit more in the last year or so.

It’s strange that I didn’t go there more, because in the past they had some great bottles available. A year before I started this blog there were still Rare Malts there, and very old Old Malt Cask bottlings and such. I even picked up a Karuizawa from a pretty decent vintage there, before prices sky-rocketed.

But anyway, FB, a friend, found this BenRiach there last year, and it was discounted to € 50 or so. He called since he was on his way to pick up samples at my place anyway, and I said to bring me a bottle. It’s nice to share stuff like this, both in a tasting and as samples. I kept a little bit for myself that I emptied recently.

Image from Whiskybase

Theoretically this should be a fairly generic BenRiach. Refill Hogshead isn’t anything off the beaten path, especially for BenRiach. 15 years old is nice too. Those are good things by the way. I like BenRiach when they don’t try to stand out too much. Let’s see how it holds up.

A very classical nose with hints of oak and vanilla, but mostly an aroma of rich barley. Porridge, even. Some lemon in the background, with a whiff of black pepper.

I expected this to be sweeter on the palate. It’s still very barley-forward with lemon for a fresh edge. Some chili pepper for heat, and a bit of oak. Highly consistent with the nose. Oak shavings, Napoleon candy, porridge.

The finish is a bit more woody, and far less focused on the barley. Some old apples, pears, and still some oak.

As expected, this is a very decent BenRiach. Worth the 50 bucks I paid for it, also worth the 70 it initially went for. Not an overly complicated whisky, but there’s nothing to complain about either.

The main reason for this not moving that quickly, and still being available six years after release (it’s gone now, by the way), I think is mostly that it’s almost 300 bottles for a single shop. Especially in a time when things need to stand out with a million releases happening every week, I guess this got less attention than possible. A shame for Slijterij Vonk. Good for me…



About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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