Whisky Review: BenRiach Cask Strength Batch 2
- Category: Speyside single malt Scotch whisky
- Origin: BenRiach Distillery
- Bottling: Brown-Forman, Official
- ABV: 60.6%
- Cost: around £55-£60
What they say
BenRiach triple cask matured Cask Strength Batch 2
Whisky explorers searching for a glimpse into the spirit of BenRiach distillery have the chance to experiment with this emerging Speyside single malt in its most nondiluted form, with the release of BenRiach Cask Strength – Batch 2. Following on from the successful release of Cask Strength – Batch 1, BenRiach distillery Master Blender Rachel Barrie has hand-picked a small selection from 2006, 2007 and 2008 to create this rich, smooth, triple-cask matured expression.
This single malt continues BenRiach’s reputation for rich, innovative cask maturation by combining cask strength whisky matured in bourbon barrels, Oloroso sherry casks and virgin oak hogsheads. It has a richer and smoother taste profile to its award-winning predecessor, BenRiach Cask Strength – Batch 1, which won a Silver Outstanding award at the International Wine and Spirits Competition in 2016.
Cask Strength Batch 2 is BenRiach in its most unadulterated state. At cask strength 60.6%, the drinker can taste straight from the vat, without chill-filtration, water or colour addition.
Richly matured bourbon, Oloroso and virgin oak casks take the drinker on an adventure through the BenRiach Speyside warehouses. To the eye a golden summer harvest, to the nose toffee apple with a ginger spiced zing, and to the tongue layers of crème-caramel, chocolate and lime-glazed nectarine. At cask strength, the drinker can explore every layer of flavour, and choose whether or not to add water to taste. BenRiach Cask strength Batch 2 is for those who want to experiment with whisky taste and explore for themselves.”
BenRiach Distillery Master Blender Rachel Barrie
What I say
The second Cask Strength release from BenRiach after their 2016 released Cask Strength Batch 1.
Made from a selection of casks filled in 2006, 2007 & 2008, making this around 9 years old at its youngest but with 10 and 11 year old whisky in the vatting.
Thanks to The BenRiach for the official sample
My tasting notes:
- Appearance: Amontillado sherry (10/20), numerous slow, medium-sized tears leave long medium legs
- Nose: A thick mixture of heavy vanilla essence, a little dried fruit and pencil shavings announces each of the casks types used, there is a touch of something solventy, a little like wood glue and also some quite fresh notes including grass and new oak wood, toasted coconut, foamy coconut mushrooms sweeties, honey and more dry barley, hay and grassy notes linger, there are raisins and a touch of black cherry, some green apple and fresh orange juice in the fruits.
- Taste: Full-bodied, quite zesty and zingy at full strength, a rich toffee and caramel and plenty of freshly cut root ginger spice, almost like sweetened pickled sushi ginger, sweet vanilla essence, crème brulee, sugar-coated almonds, a sourness like bramley cooking apple and limes, lemon barley sugars, toasted coconut and green coconut, coloured/slightly waxy pencil shavings, grass stem/hay and barley, ginger and cinnamon heat and spice, and new oak wood
- Finish: Long, spiced sweetness, vanilla, coconut, lemon barley sugars and new wood adds a mixture of fresh tannin and dryness.
Really quite drinkable at Cask Strength, this for me displays characters of each of the component casks though I feel the Bourbon and Virgin Oak influences speak the loudest on the palate. Quite heady on the nose with a huge hit or dollop of vanilla. There is some spirit and spice but just enough to make it interesting and add to the progression of this whisky over the palate. I could sit and nose this one for quite some time, but drink it only in small savouring sips.
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