Somewhere in the musty darkness of the large traditional warehouses at BenRiach Distillery, there are rows of oak casks slowly maturing, some of these are bourbon, some are oloroso sherry and some previously held Pedro Ximenez sherry, all these casks are awaiting the day when they can become the classic Speyside malt we know and love today. So when I was sent a couple of examples of the most recent releases I couldn’t wait to dive in.. The two samples are this 17yo Pedro Ximenez finish and a 21yo Tawny port finish ( to be reviewed soon ) ..
Todays bottle is a new 17yo Pedro Ximenez Sherry Wood Finish that has been matured in the traditional American bourbon barrels then finished in Pedro Ximenez Sherry casks sourced from the bodegas of Jerez de la Frontera in Andalucia, Southern Spain..
BenRiach has long championed the use of Pedro Ximenez casks in which to finish its award-winning whisky. Maturation in these flavourful casks gives the whisky extra sherry sweetness and richness.
Todays bottle is Natural colour and bottled at 46%abv..
Nose.. Oozes rich fruity scents, lots of dates, raisins and plums.. Dark toffee with apples dunked in chocolate, apple strudel and cinnamon.
Palate.. Very rich chocolate covered raisins with dates, Turkish delight, candied orange with plums and manuka honey.. Vanilla with a twist of oak and bitter coffee . Hints of liquorice and maple syrup on Belgium waffles..
Finish.. Rich and lingering..
Thoughts.. These Pedro Ximenez finishes can sometimes be very sweet and sickly but this one is rather nice.. The PX finish gives this whisky it’s dominant flavour but that is fine with me ! You can detect the bourbon side but the PX is far more interesting.. The flavours are big without being stupidly obscene and when sipped they just compliment the dram perfectly.. Benriach certainly do seem to have some very fine sherry casks in those warehouses and if they keep releasing bottles like this then I’ll be buying rather a lot..
I would like to thank Emma for the official samples..