Style: Sherried and Complex
Razor-sharp, cool as ice spearmint slices through and carves out a path. A moment of silence before the sherry juggernaut rams in. Incredible burst of assorted red-almost-dark fruits, cranberries, black currants coulis and some Toblerone chocolate. Wood varnish goes high while there are some umami touches below. Tangerine candies forming a brittle crust while overripe white peaches look very blurry in the midst of overwhelming sherry. Cloves, white pepper and cinnamon at the tail. Quite nice.
The sherry parade continues, summer berries, full-spectrum red fruits and dark chocolate carried by a powerful spirit spice. Tassie cherries with silky texture, while white peaches gleaming positively in the middle. Cedar wood, incense ashes, cloves and lit cinnamon sticks setting in quite deeply at the back, the oak is more prominent on the palate than the nose has suggested. Kumquat peels, nashi pears, panna cotta and barley emerge towards the end.
A long sherry tail, bright red fruits gradually sinking lower to a profound chocolate notes with a citrus and summer berries twist. Red dates take over eventually.
Label says this is a PX finish but man, this Benriach looks and tastes “darker” than many first-fill sherry bottlings, which is quite unexpected. Virtually a sherry bomb on the surface, however, what lies under is surprisingly convoluted, the oak, the (vague) distillate manage to squeeze through, build beneath the red fruits and made their presence felt. The profile is a bit challenging, but it is complex, fun and delicious. Low two stars for me.
☆☆- [Highly Recommended]
[52.2%| Original Bottling| 1977 Distilled| 2010 Bottled| 299 of 331 Bottles| Cask Strength| Single Cask| Cask Number: 1033| Non Chill Filtered| Non Coloured| **-]