Origin: Speyside (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing cask: Virgin
Added coloring: No
Owner: Brown Forman
Average price: € 500.00
Official website: www.benriachdistillery.com
Rachel Barrie’s appointment as Master Blender (but now she can be called a full-fledged Whisky Maker) at BenRiach in 2017 marked a huge change of pace for a distillery whose name had become somewhat ‘blurred’ in recent years.
In addition to a total revolution in the core range, both aesthetic and substantive, Barrie has helped restore lustre to the label (and to the Glenglassaugh and GlenDronach sisters) by bringing all his enormous knowledge to the service of the distillate, and the Cask Edition series, inaugurated in 2020, is the perfect example.
Several single casks chosen by Rachel Barrie from the distillery’s immense warehouses, varying both the time and type of maturation, with the aim of emphasising the individual notes that make up the distillery’s score.
In the glass is a distillate from 7 July 1997 poured in a virgin cask (the 7427) that produced around 255 bottles in 2023.
The nose begins with a lemon tart combined with blueberries and raspberries with a warm spice of nutmeg that punctuates crème caramel, baked apple, chestnut honey and cashews. There is a vegetal, pungent trace that undulates between the aromas, sometimes intense, sometimes subdued, shifting the centre of gravity between sweet/warm and rough/balsamic, very engaging and lively.
On the palate it immediately shoots out some vin cotto with sweet vocations, as in some traditional Italian Christmas cake like struffoli or cartellate, but we are nonetheless in the same neighborhood. Spices well present, declined in nutmeg and star anise, which in a very full and oily body are accompanied by dark chocolate, a drop of coffee, Catalan cream, ginger biscuits, candied orange and nuts. The vegetal note of the nose remains muted, barely surfacing with a slight balsamic inflection along the length.
The finish is long and continues the line on the palate, with vin cotto cake, orange, burnt sugar in various forms, spices and the balsamic part.
Such a long maturation in a virgin cask is not for everyone, and BenRiach’s distillate does very well, managing to extract its richness from the wood and making it its own, without ever feeling the weight of the years. A Christmas and festive whisky that, given the price, it could be apt on a very special occasion, you could treat yourself to… and at full satisfaction!