Tag Archives: Benriach

Whisky Review – BenRiach 18 Year Old Albariza

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)

BenRiach 18YO AlbarizaNose: 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. Continue reading

Whisky Review – BenRiach 18 Year Old Dunder

BenRiach distillery is well known for weird and innovative experiments with their whisky – myriad of distillations (double and triple), heavy peated, peated and unpeated releases, different wood finishes and that leads to a few duds but also some kick ass whiskies over the last decade, led by the famous annual batch releases.

This year we were treated to a trio of new releases – peated whisky finished in different spirit barrels: PX sherry, Dark rum and Madeira. Those expressions are quite a success from the business side as it’s not easy to get a bottle of those releases. They fly off the shelves in mere days (or minutes) due to high demand and somewhat limited availability. The smallest release of them is the 18 yo Dunder, the Dark Rum finish expression, with only 1888 bottles in circulation.

But luckily for me (and you), I had the opportunity to taste it at the MMI whisky club monthly meeting so here is my review:

BenRiach 18 Year Old Dunder (46%, 1888 bottles)

benriach 18 yo dunderNose: Soft earthly and clean peat with it does have some high spikes in peat strength. After a minute or two in the glass there’s sweet caramel and also nice dark brown sugar note – feels very balanced yet a bit flat. I decided to give it (lots of) extra time in the glass and was rewarded with ripe banana &  green banana peels notes. Heck, there were even some floral notes sneak ins. Continue reading

Whisky Review & Tasting Notes – BenRiach 15 Year Old Tawny Port Finish

Yesterday I reviewed two Glendronach expressions finished in Tawny Port cask. How about we check their cousin? Glendronach is part of the BenRiach distillery group and BenRiach have a Tawny Port Finish too. I wonder where Glendronach got that idea from 😉

The Tawny Port Finish expression in BenRiach range is a 15 yo one and they previously had a peated 12yo Tawny Port. Since the latter is peated, I’ll review it another time and we’ll focus on the 15yo here.

The BenRiach 15yo Tawny Port was matured in ex-bourbon barrels and then is finished in casks from the Douro region of Portugal (that previously used to mature Tawny Port). Let’s check how the BenRiach 15yo holds his ground against the Glendronach siblings.

BenRiach 15 Year Old Tawny Port Finish (46%, £39 / €44)

Continue reading

Whisky News – Tomatin Cuatro & CuBocan Sherry, AnCnonc Cutter, Ardbeg Supernova 2014, BenRiach Single Casks bottlings Batch 11

Hello there, I’m back! Did you miss me? 🙂

It’s been a long and busy summer, but now I’m back from summer holidays, recovered from the post-vacation blues (and virus) and it’s time to get in a high gear again.

Here’s a round up of the latest whisky releases, and this time I’m trying a different format for the whisky news roundup posts: We’ll start with headlines and Whisky gospel take on the release and only then we’ll provide the full PR. So, here’s take #1:

  • Tomatin Releases Cuarto limited edition series and Cù Bòcan Sherry edition

WG_iconWhisky Gospel: Kudos to Tomatin to release a limited edition of 4 whiskies and keep the age statement on. Even the new Cù Bòcan is a refreshing addition (even if in a limited mode). oh, and the price is decent, very decent.

  • An Cnoc adds Cutter to their peaty collection

WG_iconWhisky Gospel: Even more peatier! 20.5 ppm may not sound as much, but remember it’s post-distillation value so good chance it stands up to Laphroaig, Ardbeg, Lagavulin and Port Charlotte when it comes to peatiness. Should be an interesting dram.

  • Ardbeg releases Supernova 2014

WG_iconWhisky Gospel: oh boy, I do understand the ‘need’ to release another community release (been a while since the last one, Alligator) but tie it with the space experiment? and dress Dr Bill Lumsden in Astronaut suit? I bet the supernova will be a solid dram (early review already confirm that), but the price is again ardbeg-y and the hype is there. Sigh.

  • BenRiach Releases Batch 11 of its Single Cask Bottlings

WG_iconWhisky Gospel: Like a clock, as expected, on the heels of the Glendronach releases, here comes the BenRiach. Not much to see here except that it’s probably good (very good) whisky, some more affordable and some less. If you can afford it, go on and buy one – it’s probably worth it.

And now for the full press releases. Enjoy! Continue reading

Whisky Review – Benriach 12 Year Old Arumaticus Fumosus (Peated / Dark Rum Cask)

Seems like lately I’m on a Rum roll and finding different excuses to try and report back to you about Rum or Rum finished whiskies. In another gathering not so long ago we started our drinking with yet another Peated/Rum combo whisky – The BenRiach 12yo Arumaticus Fumosus Peated/Rum. I was curious as I tasted another Rum/Peat whisky few days before that (Chieftain’s Caol Ila), but this one is an official bottling and not from Islay. Let’s dive in:

Benriach 12 Year Old Arumaticus Fumosus / Peated / Dark Rum Cask (46%, buy for £34.95 here)

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Whisky Tour – The Benriach Distillery

So after a great tour at The Balvenie, we took off and drove toward Elgin to our next target: The BenRiach distillery which is located just off the road to Elgin, close by to Longmorn distillery.


The BenRiach distillery doesn’t have visitors center or regular tours, but due to the high demand (and after reading this post you’ll understand why), you can contact the distillery and try booking a tour with the distillery manager Ewan George. Since I love my BenRiach Solstice 17, I wanted to tour the place and managed to book place on the date and time I wanted.

Continue reading

Whisky news – Dalmore teams with Harrods, New BenRiach and Wemyss bottlings

Oh wow, Those last few days were noisy on the Whisky news front. Distilleries and bottlers announced new whisky bottling – from super-expensive and top-range Dalmore collection (Named after their master blender Richard Paterson) to new single cask bottlings by Wemyss, BenRiach.

Harrods and The Dalmore Create World’s Rarest Whisky Collection

dalmore_paterson_collectionThe world’s leading luxury retailer has teamed up with one the world’s finest malt whisky brands to create a truly unique collection of rare whiskies.

The Dalmore Paterson Collection – the only one of its kind in the world – goes on sale and will take pride of place in the newly refurbished Fine Spirits Room at Harrods from 16 July 2013 for £987,500.

Consisting of twelve bottles, each rare expression has been individually assessed, nosed, tasted and selected by Richard Paterson, master distiller of The Dalmore, from some of the rarest, oldest and most valuable stock in the world. But he was not alone in this enviable task as Nick Fleming, wine and spirits buyer for Harrods, used his unrivalled expertise to help choose the whiskies.

Wemyss Malts Single Cask Releases July 2013

Of the 6 casks released this month, 2 of them were distilled in 1991 – the year which saw the dissolution of the USSR, the first website go on line, Dublin become European Capital of Culture, and Silence of the Lambs win Best Picture in the Academy Awards.

Each cask is a celebration of the unique and contrasting appeals of the different Scotch whisky regions. Wemyss whiskies are each identified by their natural taste and aroma and the full cask list of this release comprises:

“Apple Pastry” – 1991 single cask from Linkwood, Speyside
“Salted Caramels” – 1991 single cask from Glen Scotia, Campbeltown
“The Smokery” – 1980 single cask from Caol Ila, Islay
“Maritime Embrace” – 1989 single cask from Bunnahabhain, Islay
“Melon Cocktail” – 1994 single cask from Aberfeldy, Highlands
“Spiced Chocolate Cup” – 1997 single cask from Clynelish, Highlands


BenRiach Releases Latest Batch of Single Cask Whiskies

benriach_sc_july2013The award-winning BenRiach Distillery has today, 17th of July, released Batch 10 of its eagerly-anticipated single cask bottlings. Selected by Master Blender Billy Walker, the superlative twelve-expression batch from the Elgin distillery was bottled last month and all bottlings are available as of today.

Batch 10 comprises sublime Speyside vintages ranging from 1976 to 2005. Cask types vary from Moscatel and Virgin American Oak Hogsheads to Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheons and Barrels.

As always, they offer a mouth-watering range of classic BenRiach malt charm – zesty tropical fruits, dark roasted coffee beans, soft vanilla, banana, toffee, cinnamon…and even campfire-roasted apples with a touch of black pepper! Unusually for BenRiach, one expression – the 1998 cask # 7633 – has been triple-distilled. The taste is sensational – lively crisp pineapple explodes and gradually softens into creamy toffee.

And also included in the new batch is an intriguing young 8 year old, an amazing 2005 cask # 3782 which is rich gold and, on the nose, bursts with sweet heather smoke, ripe soft fruits and a touch of citrus zest – ideal for summer drinking.

The cask details are:

1976 cask # 2013 / 37 years old / Classic Speyside / 49.6%vol
1977 cask # 1031 / 36 years old / Moscatel Finish / 54.9%vol
1978 cask # 1047 / 35 years old / Moscatel Finish / 51.1%vol
1983 cask # 296 / 30 years old / Classic Speyside / 43.9%vol
1984 cask # 1051/ 28 years old / Peated / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Finish / 49.9%vol
1985 cask # 7188 / 27 years old / Peated / Virgin American Oak Finish / 48.9%vol
1988 cask # 4000 / 24 years old / Tawny Port Finish / 52.6%vol
1992 cask # 986 / 21 years old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Finish / 53.3%vol
1994 cask # 4385 / 18 years old / Virgin American Oak Finish / 55.5%vol
1996 cask # 10306 / 17 years old / Marsala Finish / 56.0%vol
1998 cask # 7633 / 15 years old / Triple Distilled / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Finish / 56.1%vol
2005 cask # 3782 / 8 years old / Peated / Virgin American Oak Finish / 58.1%vol


My whisky of the year 2012

Yeah I know, we’re deep into into 2013, but this is my (new) blog so I’ll do whatever I want – now is my time to declare on my WotY 2012 🙂

Of course, I’ll stick to whiskies which I actually tasted this year and although I didn’t taste hundreds of whiskies, I was lucky enough to taste some very good drams and even own a few of those.

So my whisky of the year is: *drums please*

Benriach Solstice 2nd Edition (50%, Bourbon / Tawny Port Finish)

My brother in law brought me a bottle from cold Vienna over a year ago (January 2012), and boy – what a wintery dram is it… even the color is amazing – dark winery amber, just lovely!

Benriach Solstice 17

Benriach Solstice 17

Nose: peat.. you can’t mistake this. This one is heavily peated, but it’s not hammering straightforward into your brain – the peat is civilized, mellow and sweet. The Port finish shines with berries, sweet raisins – they actually mesh together in harmony.

Palate: starts with the port and then the peat comes in! oranges, spices. fades a bit and shows some roasted BBQ wood bitterness

Finish: berries, and some chocolate. very long and the peat lingers forever.

Conclusion: Peat and Port in a good way – I’ve read that many bottles of this combination cannot make it work, but this one does! Amazingly even now after a full year has passed there are bottles left in the original price – go get a bottle!

Rate: Go get a bottle while you can!