BenRiach started producing malt whisky back in 1898, but the distillery was operational for just two years before the ‘Pattison crash’ in 1900, this resulted in a period of hardship for the entire whisky industry, and the closure of many distilleries. So after just a couple of years of distillation, the stills at BenRiach fell silent, and remained so for sixty five long years… Normally this would have spelled the end for the distillery, as the buildings would surely have been demolished. However, next to BenRiach lay its sister distillery, Longmorn, which had enjoyed sporadic periods of production during BenRiach’s lengthy hiatus. The whisky makers at Longmorn continued to source some of their malted barley from the floor maltings at BenRiach, which had remained operational, and it was this alone that kept BenRiach alive during those ‘mothballed’ years. Then in the year of 1965, the Scotch whisky industry entered a golden age where new distilleries were being commissioned and mothballed distilleries re-opened, including BenRiach. Production re-commenced immediately. Fast-forward to 2004, and the beginning of the most exciting period in BenRiach’s history. It was in April of that year that BenRiach became independent, having been purchased by three entrepreneurs – Billy Walker, Wayne Kieswetter and Geoff Bell. Upon acquiring the distillery, the new owners inherited an inventory of almost uninterrupted stock, with the oldest casks dating back till 1965. The vision was to establish The BenRiach as a premium, high-quality Speyside malt. The independent ownership allows the distillery to experiment with several interesting wood finishes and it continues to produce whisky from both peated and non-peated malted barley. The BenRiach portrays its own uniqueness through the particular methods and skills of the men who craft the whisky, the ingredients used, the distinctive copper stills and the high quality casks selected for maturation. The distillery along with sister distilleries were recently the subject of another change of ownership, the giant Brown – Forman decided to add the 3 distilleries to its impressive portfolio.. The distillery now enters a new era..
Todays review is a recent release.. The Benriach peated Quater cask.. Matured in Quater casks and then bottled at 46%abv.. Natural colour and NCF..
Nose.. Instantly intense peat with a twist of fruit and subtle vanilla, toffee and oak.. Did I mention the peat ?
Palate.. Set a side the peat ( which isn’t easy to do ) there is some vanilla notes, caramel with ripe pear and honey.. Some oak notes again but the peat is rather dominating..
Finish.. Long, peaty and very very peaty
Thoughts.. Put a label on this that says islay and no one will ever disagree.. This is a beast of a peated whisky. There is a speyside malt somewhere in there but it’s hiding rather well.. If you are looking for a typical speyside malt then forget it.. Your going to get a big smack on the chops peated beast with this.. It’s good.. It’s peated.. And it’s quality..