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BenRiach is a Speyside distillery with a fascinating history. The distillery was founded by John Duff, an interesting character who had attempted to kickstart a distilling industry in South Africa. Benriach began distilling in 1898 but closed just two years later and sat empty and unused until 1965 when the golden era of Scotch whisky saw it brought back to life.
In more recent times, the disitllery was purchased by Billy Walker and two South African investors (in an ironic reversal of Duff's ambitions). It was under Walker that it truly began to flourish, releasing a wealth of high quality single malts, such as this bottling.
Billy Walker was a former blender, so he had a good undersand of the combinations required to make delicious whisky. BenRiach bottles often featured a number of different cask finishes.
Walker may have sold the distillery in 2016, but BenRiach continues to maintain the high standards he put in place.
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Initially, aromas of clementine and honeydew melon rise out of the glass, followed by vivid vanilla bean, icing sugar, pineapple rind and peaches.
Oakier here, with the PX Sherry cask influence showing clearly – flavours of orange, syrupy raisins, hazelnuts, dates and mocha are all discernible. Vanilla and toffee bring balance.
Medium to long in length, featuring some intriguing menthol notes, a little cinnamon and pepper spice, and a touch of caramelised ginger.