Whisky Review – BenRiach 1994 20 Year Old for Independent Spirit (BTC 2015 Day 17)

So, how is your hangover after the new year parties last night? 🙂

I guess many of you aren’t feeling 100% well today so go take some painkillers, drink a lot of water and I’ll go easy with you today with a “debt” review, the 17th dram, one before last dram, of the Blind Competition Tasting 2015.

Well, we knew it’s no highlander after the Inchmurrin the day before, so by default, the suspected region was Speyside. But this dram with the peat and burnt rubber notes totally threw me off. There is peat, but it’s not of the Islay peat type as it felt of the clear and crisp smoke type and less of the peated, ashy and soot type. Eventually I guessed it to be a Ledaig 2004 as I read a few tasting notes mentioning clear smokiness but no, I wasn’t even close as it was a single cask BenRiach 1994 (cask 806), bottled for independentspirit.de

I considered BenRiach briefly but dismissed it due to the burnt rubber note which I didn’t link to their usual sherry casks, so no points to me on that day. Ah, once again the wonders of single casks strike back…

BenRiach 1994 20 Year Old for Independent Spirit (54.6%, 659 bottles, €124)

BenRiach 1994 20 Year Old for Independent Spirit

photo credit: whiskybase.com

Nose: Hmm, peat smoke and lots of burnt notes, mostly rubber and sulphur. Dark berries, prunes and chocolate represents the sherry cask impact here. With some time, there a strong noticeable coals smoke and the burnt notes recedes a bit.

Palate: Lots of burnt rubber, sulphur, very sour sherry impact with wine vinegar and sour berries, peat smoke and soot.

Finish: Long finish with a lot of burnt notes, sour berries and nutmeg.

Thoughts: A very interesting whisky with a unique profile. I should add that on a second tasting a few days later, the burnt notes diminished a bit and the notes palette was more coherent and harmonious. I admit, It’s not a bottle I’d buy but I think it will appeal many others that like that kind of profile.


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