Following yesterday’s review of the BenRiach Dunder, here’s a review of his close sibling BenRiach Albariza. Both are peated BenRiachs aged 18 year old, just that the Albariza is finished in PX sherry casks. Does it work better here than in the Dunder?
BenRiach 18 Year Old Albariza (46%, 3886 bottles, £98/€107)
Nose: Lots of peat yet it is weaker than it felt in Dunder. It’s probably mitigated by the PX cask as the sherry notes are quite prominent here. Dried fruits, sour berries, raisins, sweet, cloves, weak cooked cinnamon. With further exposure to air there are cherries like in herring liquor, it is sweeter and the peat is taking back seat.
Palate: Starts with earthy peat but then there’s a big wave of PX impact notes. Very sweet dried fruit, raisins, nutmeg, dash of cinnamon and it ends with bitterness of nutmeg and oak.
Finish: Medium length with oak spices, lingering sweetness dried fruit and hints of dark chocolate.
Thoughts: That’s more like this. Peat and sweet sherry works well together and it’s no exception here. It’s better than the Dunder (and just a tad below Solstice) and it’s a good whisky. With almost 4000 bottles released to market, it’s still out there available for purchase and it’s a worthy bottle to have on you whisky shelf.