Today’s dram is another fine example from Gordon & Macphail “The Wood Makes the Whisky” campaign. It’s a 16 or 17 years old BenRiach, distilled in 1997 and bottled in 2014 and it was matured in refill Sherry hogshead casks.
BenRiach 1997 Connoisseurs Choice (46%, Bottled 2014, £58.50)
Nose: Elegant and light sherry notes at first: sweet dried fruit with some fresh berries thrown in for a good measure accompanied by cinnamon. Then honey, cereals, pears and white fruit, soft and creamy vanilla with crushed nuts, quite a rich nose and after a while the lovely sherry notes comes back for good.
Palate: Nutty, spicy, white pepper, pears, slightly bitter wood spices, cinnamon, honey and dried red berries.
Finish: Medium length, slightly bitter, cinnamon and wood spices, traces of dried berries but lingering bitterness.
Thoughts: This dram needs time and caressing as the sherry influence is very light and delicate. I’d recommend this one for the bitter profile lovers as the oak spices give the tone in the palate and finish.
(Official sample from Gordon & Macphail)