The Benriach 12 Year Old - Sherry Matured
It has been many years since we have sampled a Benriach expression, and after re-reading our original review of the Benriach 10 Peated Single Malt, we had hopes that their unpeated spirit would show some redeeming qualities. Aged in a combination of Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez Sherry casks, this bottling has won a few awards, including a silver medal for the "15 and under" category of the 2011 International Wine and Spirits Competition.
Nose: Christmas spices and artificial cherries mingle quite nicely with a scent of strong fresh ginger. Behind the dominant aromas, a subtle trace of cinnamon bark and stale bread is found.
Palate: The cherry flavour continues onto the tip and centre of the tongue which are surrounded with a high dose of nutmeg and brown sugar. There are cocoa and raisins that appear towards the back of the mouth. Notably, this palate is surprisingly hot, and quite dry.
Finish: Slightly cloying as the sweetness of the whisky comes through. There are remnants of an old cigar which has turned sour.
Overall: While I'd consider this bottle safe bet for anyone who likes a heavily sherried speyside style, it doesn't stand out from the numerous other high quality sherry-influenced whiskies such as those from the likes of Glenfarclas, Aberlour, and Glengoyne. Priced at $66.95 at the LCBO, this isn't one to run out and buy. However, that's no reason to turn it down should you see it on a whisky list at a bar.