BenRiach 17 Year Old Solstice (Second Edition)
Time to review the BenRiach 17yo Solstice, the second edition to be exact. It replaced the first edition, which was two years younger and very well received. The first thing you need to know is that it is a peated expression. The second important bit of information is that this whisky received a finish in ex-port casks.
BenRiach 17yo Solstice (50%, OB ‘Second Edition’)
Nose: Earthy, meaty and a smoky peat character. After a while the forest fruits make an appearance, with blueberries and raspberries. Cherry syrup too.
Taste: Peatier than the nose suggest. Medicinal almost. A fair amount of rubber. Roasted peanuts. For me the peat overpowers whatever is left of the port finish. Some red currants and plums.
Finish: Peat and rubber. Again, the peat dominates here. Very long.
Maybe better suited for peat heads, this BenRiach is not completely to my liking. More of a straightforward peat monster than the balance between port and peat that I hoped for. Have you tasted it? If so, what are your thoughts?
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.