BenRiach 10 Years Old (2019)
Not as glamorous as GlenDronach’s sherry-matured whiskies, nor as fascinating as Glenglassaugh’s funky spirit and coastal location, I never really gave much attention to that other former Billy Walker distillery. I’ve driven past BenRiach often during my journey from Inverness Airport deep into the heart of Speyside.
I’ve tasted a few that I liked, but never one that really put it all together (although I’m disregarding a few wonderful 1976 vintages I’ve sipped at festivals and gatherings). Anyway, what better way to better get to know a distillery by evaluating their entry-level offering.
BenRiach 10 Years Old (43%, OB, 2019)
Nose: A soft chalky note followed by subtle whiffs of malted barley, before it takes a turn into an orchard. Red apple peel, lemon and hints of dry cider too. Finally also a trace of marshmallow, but also apricot marmalade.
Taste: Quite creamy, but also some bitter wood, then moving on towards vanilla, lemon zest and a touch of sultanas. A hint of milk chocolate also.
Finish: Lingering fruity notes and soft vanilla.
Some semblance of complexity on the nose, followed by a more pedestrian palate. Rather good overall though and can certainly compete with most of its contemporaries in this price bracket.
Photo: The Whisky Exchange
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.