Whisky Review – BenRiach 1994 20 Year Old peated Madeira Finish

You know the story of BenRiach whiskies – there are so many official bottlings and so many single casks and not all of them works out to be a good (and above) drams. But following yesterday’s review, I recalled another good BenRiach single cask I tasted recently and I thought: why not string them out together on a consecutive days?

Today is a peated 1994 BenRiach Vintage that was bottled in 2014 as part of their 11th batch of single cask bottlings. Distilled in 1994 and bottled in July 2014 after being finished in Madeira cask. Total of 334 bottles were produced.

BenRiach 1994 20 Year Old Peated Madeira Finish (53.2%, cask #5626, €139)

benriach 1994 20yo peated madeira finish batch 11Nose: It’s a soft nose and a bit muted at first. But slowly peat is rising up but it’s not so clean and crisp as I’m used to from BenRiach as it’s more dirty and leathery. Some fruit notes of apricots and cantaloupe melon. With water it’s softer and pack even more fruit sweetness but the distinct separate fruit edges get blurred. But even so there’s less apricots and more melon.

Palate: Peatier, crisp at first but it’s short lived. Then there’s cured smoked meat, sweet apricots and sugar icicles. With water it’s mellower with less peat, still fruit sweetness but at the cost of diminished potency.

Finish: Long finish with peat, subtle smoke and lingering sweet apricots.

Thoughts: Delicious whisky and totally on par with the single cask I reviewed yesterday. Good stuff and unique. Again I’m surprised it’s still available out there, but less so as the price is higher than the original price tag.

(Tasted at Oct 2015 MMI Club meeting)

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