Origin: Speyside (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon
Added coloring: No
Owner: Brown Forman
Average price: € 45.00
Official website: www.benriachdistillery.com
The ‘original’ version of the declared age of the Speyside distillery’s youngest malt, prior to the 2020 restyling of the entire portfolio with which, as well as its appearance, this bottling changed its name (with a considerable imaginative leap) to The Twelve.
Indeed, all bottles with a stated age have switched to the literal version of their ageing, to give that slightly retro air to which the new labels also aspire, echoing the distillery’s original design.
This old bottling was made in two versions: the present one for the UK market, and one at 46%ABV for the American market.
Previously, it was bottled at 40%, while the new version is at 46%: you should give them credit for not lacking in initiative.
Full gold in the glass.
The nose is a little closed, with slight hints of peach, apple, vanilla, cinnamon, cereal, honey and a very faint waxy note. It’s all very ethereal and fleeting, with a tendency to veer towards freshly cut wood.
It’s decidedly more lively on the palate, where a copious sprinkling of pepper assaults the flavors already perceived on the nose, which are always not very incisive and therefore crushed by so much exuberance. Vanilla, yellow fruit, cinnamon, bread… stand out at length, when the initial burn dies down, but soon decay into a generic pastiche with metallic veins.
The finish is quite brief and bitter, of cereals, apples, dried fruit and metal.
The proverbial gentleness of Speyside is overwhelmed and mortified, giving a free hand to the alcohol and youthfulness of the malt, leaving nothing behind.