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Large information from Benriach, which has simply dropped its first single cask, single malt Scotch whisky bottlings ever accessible within the U.S. Three expressions are arriving, all extraordinarily restricted (just a few hundred cask power bottles every) and ranging in ages from 12 to 24 years outdated, with every drawn from a unique kind of cask wherein they have been totally matured (not merely completed).
We have been lucky to have the ability to strive all three. Let’s dig in.
Benriach 12 Years Outdated Cask #3812 Pedro Ximénez Puncheon 2009 – There’s no mistaking the PX affect on this hefty whisky. The nostril is boldly nutty and leathery, with a mild contact of smoke (though not peat). It’s once more boldly sherried on the palate, aggressive with notes of leather-based polish, grape should, darkish chocolate, and walnut oil. Some cereal perseveres all through the expertise — although the fruity-leathery sherry character can get a bit of intense at occasions. All informed it’s by no means wanting rewarding, the end culminating in a wine-heavy character wealthy with lingering notes of prunes, dates, and figs. 116.4 proof. A / $100
Benriach 23 Years Outdated Cask #10297 Marsala Cask 1998 – Marsala can have an outsized affect on single malt whisky, and this bottling isn’t any exception. The nostril is comparatively restrained, with citrus fruit surprisingly dominating. Once more it’s a bit smoky, not peaty, with notes of charred wooden, baked apples, and leather-based — and only a trace of that sweet-and-sour Marsala notice. The Marsala comes roaring into deal with the palate, the place the unmistakable fortified wine comes into focus. Very nutty and really oxidized. Gritty and difficult on the extraordinarily prolonged end. I nonetheless haven’t discovered a Marsala cask-aged whisky that I’m in love with. 110.8 proof. B / $330
Benriach 24 Years Outdated Cask #15058 Oloroso Puncheon 1997 – We save the oldest however most acquainted cask fashion for final: oloroso sherry. Issues sadly have gone a bit of lengthy within the tooth with this bottling. As with the 1998 Marsala Cask, it’s bought a comparatively gentle assault on the nostril, nutty with winey notes, a bit of sizzling however lots approachable as floral notes develop with time in glass. The palate once more shifts gears: The sherry overload begins instantly, with closely oxidized, fairly nutty notes that masks extra delicate parts of fruit and cereal, which have to be buried in there someplace. Leathery and difficult, the whisky quickly turns into austere and really winey, virtually beefy because the end arrives. The sharp citrus notes of youthful oloroso sherry notes are absent right here, they usually grow to be a lot wanted. 106.2 proof. B+ / $380