Origin: Speyside (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon and ex-PX
Added colouring: No
Owner: Wilson & Morgan
Average price: € 40.00
Official website: www.wilsonandmorgan.com
It’s worth remembering: in whisky, as in life, it’s a matter of choices. To prefer one type of cask to another for full maturation or refinement, to decide to bottle or wait, to do it at one strength or another, to chillfilter or not, to give just a few examples, leads to consequences. These choices can be influenced by many factors, but the aim, of course, always remains to achieve the best result.
Today’s BenRiach, after around seven years of ageing in ex-Bourbon casks, underwent a 12-month passage in ex-Pedro Ximénez first-fill casks: the choice of bottler Wilson & Morgan, which then offered it in its Barrel Selection at 46% ABV without colouring and unchillfiltered in 2,108 bottles still available in Italy.
Wilson & Morgan, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, we trust blindly, but beware of ex-PX casks.
Let’s see how it went.
The colour is light amber.
On the nose, the entry is on inescapable hints of vanilla (later vanilla sugar), almond, yellow apple and marshmallow with a slight hint of white pepper. The contribution of the former sherry casks translates into impressions of balsamic vinegar, prune and sultana, with a touch of sweet liquorice, and a distant memory of eggnog.
On the palate, after a spicy opening still of white pepper, we perceive notes of yellow apple and orange zest, as well as dried figs, hazelnut, sultanas and ripe yellow peach accompanied, similarly to the nose, by zabaglione.
In the not very long finish, a certain astringency is revealed, cream and fruit find an accord with pepper, while a vagueness of cooking herbs peeps out.
A dangerously drinkable whisky, not at all penalised by its young age (probably due to the high level of the starting distillate), in which the finish, discreet and well managed, is the classic icing on the cake.