Whisky Advocate

Review: Two from BenRiach

March 23rd, 2009

BenRiach, Maderensis Fumosis (Madeira Wood Finish), 13 year old, 46%, $88
(Sounds more like a disease than a whisky.) A peated version of BenRiach, with the tarry smoke melding nicely with toffee, bramble and rhubarb. Lingering earthy smoke on the finish and slightly tannic, with subtle fruit. Good mouth-feel on this one.

Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 85

BenRiach, Sauternes Wood Finish, 16 year old, 46%, $113
Lovely golden honey color. Lush and sweet (the Sauternes impact is obvious), with honey-drenched apricot, sultana and lemon gum drops. Vanilla, candied nuts and subtle botanics round out the palate. Decent oak grip on the finish keeps the whisky from being too cloying.

Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 83

4 Responses to “Review: Two from BenRiach”

  1. Rick Duff says:

    Very interesting rating for the Sauternes finish. Whisky magazine rated it a 9 & 9.2 which are some of the highest ratings I’ve ever seen. I might lean a bit more towards your rating. I tasted this in the barrel just less than 2 years ago and it was superb. I think the additional year or so in the barrel before bottling though didn’t help it.
    It’s nice to see this coming available in the US. When it came out I had to order a couple of bottles of it from the UK. After the barrel tasting I had I simply couldn’t wait. I’d rate it an 88-94 depending on mood.

  2. DavidG says:

    Rick, you may want to try a Binny’s handpicked signatory cask strength Bottling of Benriach – its 12 years old, heavily peated, and finished on Chateau d’Yquem Sauternes casks – younger than when you barrel tasted, so the balance may be a little off, but the bright raciness and peat to sweetness interplay is on display.

  3. Rick Duff says:

    David,
    thanks for the suggestion. I actually have that bottle. I am not a huge peat fan.. but that bottle is pretty nice.
    The price for it isn’t bad either.

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