BenRiach 16 years
During the Spirit of Speyside festival, at the end of April and the beginning of May last year, I visited BenRiach distillery for the first time. It was very shortly after the announcement that Brown-Forman had acquired the three distilleries in the BenRiach Disitllery Company – BenRiach, GlenDronach and Glenglassaugh – for £281 million. Widely agreed that £281 million was over the odds but, now, Brown –Forman have a stake in the scotch malt whisky industry once again. Everyone at the distillery seemed very positive about the news and, I’m guessing, none more positive than Billy Walker; he stays on as master distiller and blender.
BenRiach isn’t usually open to the public for general tours but they do offer a connoisseurs’ tour on certain days: http://www.benriachdistillery.co.uk/visit-us/
Therefore, if you’re thinking of heading to the Spirit of Speyside festival this year, all the more reason to pay them a visit. It’s worth checking out the programme of events, launched on 2nd February 2017: http://www.spiritofspeyside.com/
Our tour guide, Sandra, was superb; clearly very passionate and knowledgeable about whisky. It’s amazing how many tour guides aren’t! The tour itself wasn’t at all rushed and the tasting afterwards included some fantastic whisky. My favourite of this line up was the Distillery Exclusive 18 years Marsala Cask Finish; I am still seriously regretting not buying a bottle.
So, of the four possibilities for my #MiniatureMonday dram, I opted for the BenRiach 16 years:
Nose: pencil sharpenings in the background which come to the fore more prominently after a while; foam bananas; tinned pineapple; honey, lemon and glycerine syrup; lemon icing; vanilla; slightly earthy.
Palate: pepper; lemon bonbons; malted milk biscuits; quite dry with a slight oily texture; vanilla; hint of peat; slight bitterness into the finish.