A few months back ( June 2016 ) I was lucky enough to have a look round the Benriach distillery, although the distillery is not open to the public you can arrange a tour, so that I did.. The tour lets you look round all aspects of the distillery and then offers you some fine drams at the end.. After tasting more of the expressions they offer I have been out and bought a few bottles, then I was given the chance to sample the two latest releases a 17yo PX finish and this 21yo Tawny port finish, matured in traditional bourbon barrels before being finished in Tawny Port hogsheads. I am a big fan of sherried expressions but find that some port finished expressions can become rather sweet so let’s see how this one goes..
Bottled with no added colour and NCF and with an abv of 46% what more can you ask for..
Nose.. The nose opens with a lovely sweet candy shop aroma, some dark fruits and rich dark chocolate notes.. As it opens up a little more you get some lovely oaky notes, vanilla and delicate coffee aromas..
Palate.. First impression is oaky but with a sweet twist. Vanilla with chocolate, toffee sauce, some candied orange, ginger and ground coffee.. Somewhere in there you get a faint hint of fruit, some grape but not a lot..
Finish.. Lingering oak with a twist of spice.
Thoughts.. This is a lovely dram but I assume it did not have a long finishing time in the port barrels… The bourbon to me stands out, not sure if there has been any virgin oak in here but you get some wonderful wood spice and sweet vanilla notes.. There is a complexity to this and a lovely balance, the nose draws you in while the palate makes you want to try more..
I would like to give thanks to BenRiach for the sample..