Whisky Review: Benriach Limited Release 1978 #1596

Style: Spicy and Fruity

Begins with some powerful dry spice, leading to almond oil and salted caramel. Hazelnut puree, soft peanut butter touches, a bit dry, but luscious. Cornflakes, pineapples and passion fruits slowly reveal themselves at the core. More icy spices giving off multiple sparks, pencil shavings, apricots in a damp, earthy and smoky jacket.

Opened up reasonably well on the palate. Soft, stewed tropical fruits are more on the forefront and gliding on top of the robust spirit spice. Apricots, peach skins and hazelnuts immersed in sunflower oil. Nectarines building some formidable sweetness at the core. Floral honey lightly drizzled on crunchy malt biscuits. Red chilli flaring up towards the back, while cornflakes and barley pouring over cinnamon sticks, finish with dark chocolate and some delicate, damp mineralic peat.

Hazelnuts, butterscotch and reminiscence of tropical and stone fruits.

Interestingly, the more I drink this, the more it grows on me. My original impression on this Benriach during the 70s session was not great, because it was very spicy and the expression was quite tight, even by Benriach’s standards. But after a few drams down and some extra breathing time, you are able to explore the nuances and appreciate the structure and texture of this dram which has been mostly hiding behind the spirit hotness. Shy, more on the drier, nutty side, and not as sweet as its counterparts, but with some love and patience, the journey can be surprisingly rewarding.

☆+ [Recommended]

[54%| Original Bottling| 1978 Distilled| 2006 Bottled| Single Cask| Natural Cask Strength| 134 of 201 Bottles| Hogshead| Non Chill Filtered| Non Coloured| *+]