Distillery/Brand: BenRiach | Region: Speyside | ABV: 50% | Colour: Young Sauternes
Nose: 22 | Palate: 22 | Finish: 22 | Balance: 22
Strength: 22 | Variety: 21 | Quality: 22 | Harmony: 21
Final Score: 87
I opened this one up about a year and a half ago after reading some good reviews about the First Edition and I wasn’t too impressed. It was decent enough, mind you. But I’m always looking for something spectacular. Maybe that’s my fault.
Of late I’ve got into the habit of re-visiting bottles I opened up a while ago and did not really fall in love. Kind of like giving a distant acquaintance a second chance to make a better impression. That’s just my kind side, I suppose.
And mind you, given the sheer number of unopened bottles in my bar re-tasting old whiskies means I’m foregoing something I haven’t tried before.
This one is quite heavily peated and finished off in Tawny Port Pipes after spending the majority of it’s maturation in ex-bourbon barrels. Bottled at 50% and my sample is from an open bottle with around 60ml gone from it.
Nose: Peat. Peaches. Warm coconut. Red licorice. Cherries. Sugar glaze. Salty. Berries. I feel it has improved over last time but maybe not drastically enough to warrant additional points. A lot more crisp that’s for sure. 22/25
Palate: There’s something a touch bitter first off. Not entirely bad. Spice. Orange. Oak. Coffee. Mint. Licorice. Banana. I like the palate a little better too. 22/25
Finish: Oily. Long. Oak. Some spice. 22/25
Strength: Decent feel at 50%. Could it have been stronger? Why not? 22/25
Variety: Could be accused of being one dimensional by someone very picky. 21/25
Quality: No glaring lapses in standard here. 22/25
Harmony: Do all the elements come together perfectly? Not really but then again it’s no disaster, mind you. 21/25
I like this one a touch better than I did a year ago. Could be a couple of reasons. Oxidization has actually made it better. My tastes have changed. I’m a better judge now? Or poorer, perhaps.
Regardless, I like changing my opinion.
PS I gave it 86 points last time but for different reasons. This 87 feels very different. Not better or worse. Just different.