Benromach 21 Years Old Tokaji Wood Finish

Speyside single malt scotch whisky

45% ABV

Score: 84/100

BenromachTokaji

What they say:

Finished in ex-Tokaji (a Hungarian sweet wine) casks for six months, a well-aged version from this fine distillery. Bottled at 45%

Undiluted

Nose: Sweet bruised apples, fermented fruits – ripe bananas and fig rolls.

Palate: Sweet, winey – cream sherry, chocolate toffees. Rounded.

Diluted

Nose: Rich fruits, mulled wine, oranges and cloves. Chocolate brazil nuts.

Palate: Similar to undiluted palate – rich, sweet flavours.

Finish: Sweet and fruity.

Benromach21yoTokaji

What I say:

Dram #4 at the WOLS Benromach Wood Finishes tasting hosted by Thomas McEntee was this Port wood finish. Far and away the oldest whisky we sampled at this tasting and likely from the older stock G&M inherited this was matured for 20+ years in a refill sherry butt before spending 6 months maturing in ex-Tokaji wine casks. A limited edition of 2000 bottles were produced in September 2004.

Colour:

Remarkably similar to the preceeding Monastrell wine cask finish – Peachy wine (10/20) light tears

Nose:

Sweet to neutral honey, peach, crème brulee, caramelised sugar, light molasses, cinnamon

Taste:

Sourdough, honey (but not sweet), fresh linen, spicy cinnamon and nutmeg, syrupy and waxy in mouthfeel, white pepper, beeswax and polished oak wood, some earthy peaty hints and a little gentle peat smoke

Finish:

Medium, neutral, some peaty hints linger

Overall:

A little disappointing, my suspicion is after 20+ years in a very underactive refill sherry butt this whisky has tried to be pepped-up with a short wine cask finish. Either that or the combination of finishes have largely negated each other and produced something pretty unmemorable. Interestingly this is the first Benromach of the tasting that easily revealed some of the gentle peatiness, so for that we were thankful.