BenRiach

BenRiach 10 Years Old Triple Distilled (43%, OB, Travel Retail, 2018)

BenRiach 10 Years Old Triple Distilled

Whisky Review

  • Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky
  • Origin: BenRiach distillery
  • Bottling: Brown-Forman
  • ABV: 43%
  • Cost: £?

Benriach 10 Year Old Triple Distilled

What they say

BenRiach Distillery is pleased to announce the release of a new triple distilled expression, aged for 10 years, exclusively for the global travel retail market. The expression joins the classic and peated BenRiach Quarter Casks in the global travel retail range from BenRiach. The range embodies the unconventional Speyside style of BenRiach and its creative heritage of distilling malt whisky in a ‘troika’ of styles: unpeated, peated and triple distilled. The new expression was launched at Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival which BenRiach is an official partner of.

Although Scotch Whisky is traditionally distilled just twice, BenRiach have been experimenting with a third distillation since 1998, giving the spirit an even more fruity and zesty character. Building on the rich cask maturation profile of BenRiach expressions, this rare triple distilled whisky from Speyside has matured for at least ten years in first fill American Bourbon barrels and first fill Pedro Ximenez Sherry Casks. The bourbon barrels add perfectly balanced notes of vanilla and spice, while the Pedro Ximenez casks contribute to the complexity and richness of this smoothest of Single Malt whiskies.

BenRiach Triple Distilled Aged 10 years is bottled at 43%, of natural colour and is a global travel retail exclusive available in selected airports worldwide from May.

Announcing the debut of BenRiach Triple Distilled Aged 10 Years, Master Blender Rachel Barrie, said:

Two decades ago the BenRiach distillery team started to experiment with small batches of triple distilled whisky, even when most Single Malt Scotch whiskies are distilled just twice. We continue to boldly approach the art of distillation and cask maturation, inspired by the adventurous spirit of our distillery founder.

I have the wonderful task of bringing out this experimental nature through some of the most interesting casks in Speyside. For the unconventional whisky lovers and explorers, BenRiach Triple Distilled is a chance to enjoy an innovative style of Speyside Single Malt Scotch not once or twice, but triple distilled.

Official tasting notes:

  • Colour: Polished new gold.
  • Nose: Crisp green apple skin sweetened by a dusting of vanilla icing sugar, white grape, lychee and a sweet barley back note.
  • Taste: Vibrant freshly sawn oak, pear tarte Tatin dusted with cinnamon and white pepper sauce, with a delicate and sweet floral, barley background.

What I say

Launched at BenRiach distillery during the Spirit of Speyside whisky festival 2018, this 10 year old triple distilled whisky has been produced for the travel retail sector, unfortunately I couldn’t attend the live launch event, however thanks go to Spey: Progressive Communications and The BenRiach distillery for the official sample.

This isn’t BenRiach’s first triple-distilled whisky, several predecessors were bottled under the old owners including a 12 Year Old Horizon expression matured in Bourbon and Sherry finished as well as a 1998 17yo PX finished single cask expression bottled exclusively for The Whisky Exchange in 2015.

Traditionally Scotch single malt is produced by distillation of wash at ~ 8% ABV (fermented worts) through the wash still to produce low wines ~ 20% ABV and then distilled in the spirit still to produce new make spirit at around 70% ABV. Triple distillation traditionally adds in a low wines still or intermediary step to produce a further refined new make spirit by the end of the process which is generally purer in alcohol and lighter in flavour and body. Auchentoshan performs this as standard as it was seen classically as a Lowland method as well as used in the production of Irish Pot Still Whiskey such as Jamesons, Springbank perform a triple distillation on their un-peated ‘Hazelburn’ spirit, more recently Benromach launched a similar expression.

This BenRiach triple distilled spirit has been matured for 10 years in a combination of 1st fill ex-bourbon or ex-PX sherry casks.

My tasting notes:

  • Appearance: Light champagne gold (3/20), a necklace of slow medium-fine teardrops leave long fine legs.
  • Nose: Sweet and refreshing, fruity lemon and lime deepens to grapefruit and gooseberry, vanilla, polished & sappy oak woods, egg custard tarts, green bananas, kiwi fruit and melon, lactic new make spirit, slightly sour, fresh floral and biscuit malt, malted milk biscuits, pine sap and pepper spice.
  • Taste: Sour fruit and malt, slightly under-ripe or green banana, melon, kiwi, very light bodied and slightly silky and oily on the palate, treacle toffee or liquorice notes suggest over-caramelised sugars, sharp citrus, cooking or bramley apples, white pepper and a touch of menthol.
  • Finish: Medium, light biscuit or pastry cereals, herbal menthol, spearmint or peppermint.

Overall

A fabulous nose, the palate is a lot more subdued with a fantastic texture but a little too sour, under-ripe fruit and peppery spiced oak wood for me however. An unusual combination of new make or young spirit notes mix with herbal and woody more aged notes, leaving me a little unsure of this one. Perhaps it needs a little more time to integrate or a change in the blending balance as very little I could ascribe to PX was present other than the caramel/treacle/liquorice influences perhaps. An interesting example of triple distilled spirit from BenRiach.

Score 78/100

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