Colour: Young Sauternes
I have developed a fascination with BenRiach ever since I tasted a truly horrendous 20 year old. Vowing never to touch another one I went back on my words and actually ended up binge buying eight expressions. This 17 Year Old Second Edition Solstice is one of them. The First Edition is supposed to be legendary, unfortunately, this one is not.
Nose: Finished in Tawny Port pipes and using strong peated barley the nose reminded me of an understated Laphroaig Quarter Cask. Probably had to do with all that smoky peat and iodine on the nose. Purple grapes and cherry drops offer up the sweetness. It then takes on salty overtones with a slight hint of dankness. Get around it and there is a bubbling meat stew underneath it all. Certainly a lot going on here.
Palate: Smokey with burnt toast smeared with chocolate molasses. There’s a hint of toffee apples and some nuts but overall the delivery is fairly one dimensional.
Finish: The finish of cardamom and dark fruits left me wanting. It was completely absent on the first sip yet there on the second. I don’t know why.
This is a decent whisky but I suspect a step down from the First Edition.